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Jowie, Maribe differ on 'confession' statement in Kimani murder trial

 Jacqueline Maribe and Joseph Irungu at the Milimani Law Courts on May 7, 2019. [George Njunge, Standard]

An alleged confession by former television journalist Jacqueline Maribe implicating Joseph Irungu alias Jowie in the murder of businesswoman Monica Kimani has split the two.

Whereas Jowie opposed the admission of the statement by Maribe a few days after she was arrested over the murder of Ms Kimani, the former journalist had no problem with her alleged confession being produced as an exhibit in the trial.

Jowie, through his lawyer Prof Hassan Nandwa, argued that the statement sworn by Maribe on September 29 2018 was self-incriminating since it indicts him in the murder of Ms Kimani.

“We are objecting to the admission of the statement which appears like a confession against Joseph Irungu. The statement is like an indictment against him. The prosecution cannot be allowed to rely on it as evidence,” said Nandwa.

 It is the statement which again separated the two who lived under one roof until fate put them asunder following the brutal murder of Ms Kimani on the night of September 19 2018 at Lamuria Gardens Apartment in Kilimani area within Nairobi County.

Lady Justice Grace Nzioka had to make a determination on whether the evidence can be admitted and ruled in favour of Maribe in which she allowed the investigating officer Chief Inspector Maxwel Otieno to produce it as an exhibit.

The judge noted it did not qualify as a confession but a mere statement to the police when investigations were ongoing. “In any case, the first accused (Jowie) will have a chance to interrogate the statement by cross-examining Maribe if the time comes. Since she has no problem with her statement being produced, the court dismisses the application to strike it out,” ruled Nzioka.

Justice Nzioka gave the directions as the investigating officer continued with his evidence for the third day in which she stated Maribe was not coerced to make the statement.

According to the investigator, Maribe had volunteered to spill the beans and opened up to give information implicating Jowie in the murder of Ms Kimani in the presence of her lawyer Katwa Kigen.

“She had given us two previous statements but on the third occasion when I sat her down, she said she wanted to open up and wrote the statement on her own volition,” said Otieno. Asked how they identified Jowie as the last person with Ms Kimani before her death, the investigator told the court that they had three witnesses who positively identified him and that DNA analysis of blood samples found on his shorts matched that of the deceased.

Mr Otieno also denied claims by Jowie’s lawyer that he took up the case as a cover-up for the real murderers, stating he was assigned the duties by his bosses at the homicide unit.

According to the investigator, he could also not ascertain if Ms Kimani’s death was linked to the tender her company had won to provide cleaning services to UAP in South Sudan.

“I knew her company had won the tender for cleaning services but I do not know if the dispute relating to the tender could have led to her death because that did not form part of our investigations into her murder,” said Otieno.

Mr Otieno confirmed that Ms Kimani had bought a house and a new car but that he could not tell the source of her money which made her live a cosy lifestyle. The hearing continues.

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