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Mombasa Republican Council member to hang for killing Kingi's bodyguard

COAST
By Willis Oketch | March 24th 2016

A man charged with killing a minister's bodyguard in a vicious machete attack has been sentenced to hang.

Faraj Konde, described by police as a member of Mombasa Republican Council (MRC), was charged with attacking and killing Harrison Maitha, a policeman, on October 5, 2012.

He was said to have taken an oath to attack a political rally held by Amason Kingi, then Cabinet minister for Fisheries. He chopped off Maitha's hand as the officer reached for a pistol to protect Mr Kingi, now the Kilifi governor. Maitha knocked down Kingi to save him from the machete-wielding attackers but was killed by the assailants.

Kingi and the current Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo fled into a nearby building as local youths descended on the attackers and killed three on the spot.

Faraj escaped with injuries but was seized from his house by youths and police officers later. They found a bloodied military boot in his house. DNA tests on the blood found on the boot and Faraj's clothes matched Maitha's. This this is the central evidence the prosecution used to convict the suspect.

Justice Martin Muya sentenced Faraj to hang after concluding that the prosecution had proved the murder case against him beyond reasonable doubt.

Muya, however, acquitted Omar Eiofu, Suleiman Mohamed and Justus Randu as there was no concrete evidence to link them with the offence.

"The prosecution has proved the case against the Faraj Konde beyond reasonable doubt and I therefore convict him of murder," the judge said.

"The blood stain from the clothes and pair of military boots submitted to the Government Chemist matched the DNA profile of the deceased," said Muya.

The judge further said a protected witness who testified that Faraj, Omar, Suleiman and Randu were in the home of an MRC leader in Mtwapa who ordered them to go and kill people at the Mtondo meeting.

The evidence was corroborated by other witnesses who saw the accused take oath to go and kill the people at Mtondo.

"After the incident members of the public who knew the accused led the police to his house where a pair of military boots, which was hidden in the ceiling of the house, was recovered," said a witness.

The prosecution led by Alexander Jamia asked for certified proceedings to appeal against the acquittal of the three accused, arguing that they were Faraj's accomplices.

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