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DPP blocks bail for 15 officers accused of kidnapping Indians

 Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Renson Ingonga. [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Renson Ingonga has obtained orders from the Kiambu High Court to detain 15 officers linked to the disappearance of two Indian nationals and their Kenyan taxi driver.

The officers, who are drawn from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and National Intelligence Services (NIS), will spend their holidays behind bars at the Kiambu Remand Prison.

The officers had been released on a Sh3 million bond or a Sh1 million cash bail by Kahawa Law Courts Magistrate Gideon Kiage after denying the charges of kidnapping and robbery with violence.

However, on December 1, Kiambu High Court Judge Dorah Chepkwony suspended the bail ruling following an application by the DPP.

The DPP argued that the officers posed a threat to the security of the victims and the witnesses, and that they could interfere with the ongoing investigations. He also said that the bail terms were too lenient considering the gravity of the offences.

The defence team, led by Danstan Omari and Wandugi Karathe, accused the DPP of acting behind their back and violating the rights of the accused.

They claimed that the charges were politically motivated and linked to President William Ruto’s visit to India.

“Only two arms of the government were present, the State and the Judiciary, this is a serious attack on how criminal proceedings should be conducted,” said Omari. “Are they being punished because he (President Ruto) is in India?” he added.

Karathe said that the accused were before the magistrate illegally since the defence team had not been notified of the application by the DPP. He said that they would be going to the Court of Appeal to challenge the High Court orders.

The officers are Chief Inspector Peter Muthee, Inspector James Kibosek, and Corporals Joseph Kamau, David Chepchieng, Joseph Mwenda, John Mwangi and Hillary Limo.

Others are police constables Stephen Luseno, Simon Muhuga, Paul Njogu, Elkana Njeru, Boniface Otieno, Fredrick Thuku as well as John Wanjiku from the KWS and Michael Kiplang’at from NIS.

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