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GSU officer charged with manslaughter

By Joackim Bwana | June 22nd 2016

A police officer was yesterday charged with killing a colleague by running him over with a car.

Tanui Kiplagat, of the General Service Unit, is accused of running over Joseph Wafula in Mombasa on June 19, 2016, when he reversed the car.

Another GSU officer, Anthony Situma, was charged with negligence for allowing Mr Tanui to drive a police patrol car assigned to him. Tanui denied the charges before Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti.

Prosecutor Erick Masila said Tanui should not be released on bond on grounds that he was facing manslaughter charges.

"I oppose the release of the accused on cash bail because he is facing manslaughter, which is a serious offence, and if convicted he is liable to life imprisonment," said Mr Masila.

He said the court should consider the recommendation by former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga of awarding bond to police officers.

Masila said if the court awarded Tanui bond, it should be commensurate to the charges he was facing. Tanui's lawyer, Joseph Tarus, said the accused was a police officer who was still in the force and should be freed on bond pending his hearing.

reasonable bond

Mr Tarus said the officer was just a suspect and being a police officer and a family man, he was not likely to abscond.

"We apply that you grant the officer a reasonable bond," said Tarus.

Tarus insisted that the court should determine if the accused was likely to abscond or not.

"All other arguments by the prosecution are just but sentiments to incite and prejudice the bond terms of the accused," he said.

According to court documents, Situma is charged with being reckless and negligent, leading to Wafula's death.

He is charged that on June 19, this year, at GSU camp being a driver of Land Cruiser GKB 855H failed to take precaution and negligently endangered Wafula's life.

"I have listened to the able argument of the counsel and the accused can be released on Sh800, 000 bond with an alternative cash bail of Sh500, 000," said Mr Ogoti. The case will be heard on July 4, 2106.

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