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Judge cleared of knife attack charges

BUSINESS
By | October 16th 2009

By Evelyn Kwamboka

Justice George Benson Maina Kariuki has been set free following the prosecution’s failure to prove a criminal case against him.

The judge walked to freedom yesterday after the trial court dismissed an attempted murder charge against him.

He was cleared on grounds that police did a shoddy job in the investigation.

"Justice has been done. The charges were spurious and did not hold any water," Kariuki said through his advocate Stephen Mwenesi, moments after he was acquitted.

Justice GBM Kariuki leaves the Nairobi Law Courts, on Thursday. He was acquitted of attempted murder charges. Photo: Evans Habil/Standard

Dressed in a navy blue suit, Kariuki said there is no way any court would have made a finding other than what the trial court did.

Sharp object

The judge was charged that on October 18, last year along Lower Kabete Road in Spring Valley, Nairobi, he attempted unlawfully to cause the death of Mr Peter Kamau Karori by stabbing him in the stomach with a sharp object.

The judge is out on a free bond of Sh500,000.

In the alternative charge, he was accused of causing grievous harm to Karori.

On Thursday , Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei said the prosecution failed to discharge its burden of proof.

The charge failed because the prosecution did not produce in court any evidence showing that the judge had planned to commit the offence.

He pointed out that evidence produced by Gigiri CID boss Peter Kiswii and another officer indicated the judge was arrested and arraigned in court before completion of investigation. The judge was arrested on October 20, last year at his house in Nairobi by a contingent of armed police officers.

In the charge sheet, the trial magistrate said it indicated that the offence took place in Lower Kabete instead of Ngecha Road.

"The police did not make any attempts to correct the same," he said in his judgement.

Evidence produced in court by a doctor attached to MP Shah Hospital indicated the complainant was stabbed at a drinking spree.

"The complainant claimed he was stabbed on the stomach yet he managed to drive to the police station and hospital. The police did not make an attempt to find out the truth," he added.

In his defence in September this year, the judge pointed out to the court that police indicated in the charge sheet his nationality is Kamba.

"I am not aware of any country in the world known as Kamba. This is an unjust and unfair trial," he said this thorough Mwenesi.

Charge sheet

The court was told that the judge indicated clearly in his statement that his tribe is Kikuyu and he is a Kenyan.

"The charge sheet is false and should not form any basis of finding the judge guilty," his advocate told the court.

He said the prosecution failed to produce the sharp object that was used to stab Karori’s stomach.

"Where is the Somali sword that everybody is talking about? None has been produced in court or even an explanation given that it could be somewhere," he said.

The court was also told that former Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Martha Karua sent somebody to monitor how the police was handling the judge.

Ms Martha Karua is alleged to have sent the person to Kamukunji Police Station, where Justice Kariuki was being held.

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