Court declines to extend Itumbi's detention to allow probe

Dennis Itumbi at Milimani Law courts on July 10, 2019. [Edward Kiplimo/Standard]

A Nairobi court yesterday dismissed a request by the State to hold Dennis Itumbi for nine more days.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji had asked for more time to complete investigations on a letter purportedly exposing discussions on a plot to assassinate Deputy President William Ruto.

Mr. Itumbi has been connected with the authorship of the letter.

Itumbi, who is the Secretary of Digital Media at State House, appeared before Milimani Senior Resident Magistrate Zainab Abdul.

He had been held for five days, the time given investigators to complete their probe.

Mr. Haji, through assistant DPP James Machirah, had told the court investigators needed nine more days to record Itumbi's statement, scrutinise his mobile phone and record statements from 256 Tangatanga WhatsApp group members.

The magistrate dismissed the new application, saying the investigators had squandered the time given by the court.

“Orders of the court cannot be sought in vain. The court has not been told how many statements have been recorded already," ruled Mr Abdul.

"No materials have been placed before this court to show that the respondent (Itumbi) will interfere with the members of the WhatsApp group. I do not see the nexus between recording his statement and detention.”

Itumbi was released on Sh100,000 cash bail.

He will, however, be required to report at Muthaiga Police Station once every two days for the next nine days.

His mobile phone will be handled by police officers for the next 14 days, after which it will be returned to him.

During the proceedings, it emerged that Itumbi had been in cells without being asked to record a statement. He was on Tuesday questioned for 15 minutes.

Itumbi will be back in court on June 22.