The Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji has defended the move to charge city lawyer Assa Nyakundi with murder, saying new evidence suggests he directly shot his son in the chest.
The DPP also accused Nyakundi’s family of attempting to cover up the murder and doing everything to ensure the lawyer is not prosecuted for the death of his 29-year-old son Joseph Bogonko Nyakundi on March 17 at their Muthaiga home in Nairobi County.
“Nyakundi’s claim that the firearm accidentally discharged while he was picking it from its holster could not stand and after ballistic examination, there is evidence of direct shooting by aiming at the deceased’s chest,” said the DPP.
According to Haji, some investigators who colluded to bungle up the case decided to hurriedly charge Nyakundi with manslaughter in a Kiambu court when the offence took place in Nairobi where he should have been charged.
Nyakundi has denied the charges.
Through his deputy, Alexander Muteti, the DPP told the court that he decided to withdraw the manslaughter charges after forensic analysis of evidence and a postmortem report contradicted Nyakundi’s statement that he accidentally shot his son.
Mr Muteti further informed the court that the DPP’s office intends to make a formal application for Chief Justice David Maraga to constitute a bench of three judges to determine the raging debate on whether to charge the lawyer with murder.
Police investigator Maxwell Otieno, in his affidavit to support the DPP’s case, stated that after reconstructing the events leading to the death of Nyakundi’s son and weighing it against the lawyer’s statement, he believes there is a strong case of murder that can be proved.
He accused Nyakundi’s family of lying that they had reconciled to shield him from prosecution, and for devising means to defeat justice through numerous applications in court.
“The victims have never informed us of any purported reconciliation and from the numerous applications before various courts, it is clear they do not want Nyakundi charged with murder,” said Otieno.
But Nyakundi, in his response, accused the DPP of acting in bad faith to push the murder charge, and for lying that he was not briefed of the decision to prefer a manslaughter charge.
The lawyer wants to stop the new charges arguing that the prosecution is trying to arm-twist the court through coercion and illegal means to humiliate him and force through what they cannot prove.
According to the lawyer, it is not possible to have him face murder charge while the manslaughter case he was charged with on April 26 has not been formally withdrawn from court.
“The prosecutor is attempting to force the court to terminate the manslaughter case and replace it with a murder case in a clear demonstration of abuse of the court process,” he said.
He added that the DPP has been on a forum-shopping to find a suitable judge to give him favourable orders.
The lawyer wants the court to stop all criminal proceedings against him arising from the death of his son.
Justice Jessie Lessit scheduled the hearing for July 18.