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State withdraws case against MP accused of defiling 16-year-old girl

Rift Valley
 Mogotio MP Reuben Kiborek at Parliament buildings. [Courtesy]

The prosecution has dropped a defilement charge against Mogotio MP Reuben Kiborek.

About five years after the lawmaker was charged, the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew the case for lack of witnesses.

The MP was accused of defiling a 16-year-old girl at a hotel in Nakuru on December 23, 2018.

"The matter herein coming up for mention on November 7, 2023, the DPP hereby directs the prosecutor handling the case to seek leave of the court to have the matter withdrawn under section 87(a) of the CPC as read with section 40 of the sexual offences Act No3 of 2006 due to unavailability of witnesses," read the letter addressed to Chief Magistrate Nakuru Bildad Ochieng.

Kiborek took a plea on December 27, 2018, but the trial has been postponed 15 times, with the prosecution either failing to present witnesses or not being ready to proceed.

At one time, one of the hotel's worker who was accused of interfering with the crime scene and helping the suspect to escape was charged. The case was, however, dropped after it was agreed that he becomes a state witness.

In an earlier ruling in January 2019, Kiborek was barred from contacting the girl's family, which claimed he had been trying to reach out to them for an out-of-court settlement.

"I pray that the matter be certified as urgent... that the criminal matter be transferred to Nairobi Children's Court," the family application read.

Kiborek supporters were also said to be using social media to intimidate the family.

Nakuru Senior Resident Magistrate Eunice Kelly granted the orders, and directed that the case be heard in camera.

Last year, the victim complained after the suspect, who was then campaigning for the Mogotio seat, failed to appear in court.

His lawyer said the politician was unwell, but the prosecution asked the court to issue a warrant of arrest if the suspect didn't produce supporting medical documents.

The girl's lawyer complained that the case had delayed, adding that this was in violation of the standard procedure that such cases should be prosecuted within six months of registration.

At one time, a magistrate recused herself from hearing the case, citing her court calendar and a decision by the prosecutor to also quit the trial.

On July 11 when the case came up for hearing, the state sought for adjournment, indicating that the prosecutor handling the case was indisposed.

The Office of the Ombudsman had also written to the Nakuru Law Courts on September 1, inquiring why the case had been delayed. The court blamed the transfer of five magistrates who were handling the case.

On October 9 when the case came up for hearing, the State informed the court that the Bondeni OCS, who was not available, had the police file.

Last Monday, the case was postponed to yesterday when the State decided to withdraw the charge.

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