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Pastor Nderi detained over ex-girlfriend's death

 Paul Mathenge Nderi with his former girlfriend Elizabeth Wanjiru. [Courtesy Facebook]

A pastor linked to the death of his former girlfriend will remain in police custody until Friday when the court will rule on his bail application.

Through lawyer Ndegwa Njiru, Paul Mathenge Nderi asked the court to free him pending further investigations into the claims against him.

Njiru argued that the prosecution had not given any compelling reasons why his client should be detained, indicating that a post-mortem report had indicated that the deceased, Elizabeth Wanjiru, died out of suffocation.

Japhet Omutelema, the investigating officer, had earlier sought orders, when he appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Ann Njagi at Makadara law courts, to detain Nderi for 14 days so he can complete investigations.

On March 18, the pastor who is also a singer reportedly, left the deceased who is his ex-girlfriend in his house at Maziwa, Kahawa West in Kasarani sub-county. While he was still away, he is said to have tried to reach her in vain. He went back home only to find her unconscious and hanging from the frame of his wardrobe using a bed sheet.

The suspect is said to have untied the woman and called neighbours to help take her to the hospital. They took Jacaranda Maternity hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Nderi is said to have later carried the body in his car to Kiamumbi Police Station but was referred and escorted to Kahawa West Police Station before taking the body to Kenyatta University mortuary. After that, the pastor was detained at the police station.

Omutelema had sought orders to detain the suspect to allow time for post-mortem and to record statements from more witnesses. He also wants Nderi to undergo a mental assessment. Ndegwa urged the court to release his client on favourable bail terms.

From the autopsy, the cause of death has been indicated to be the lack of oxygen (asphyxia) having been present through the entire process of postmortem, the lawyer told the court. The process was also witnessed by two independent pathologists representing the deceased's family.

The lawyer said she was not murdered. "The circumstances have changed after postmortem," he said.

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