Bondeni OCS summoned in court over MP's defilement case

Mogotio MP Reuben Kiborek with other leaders during the memorial service for the Londiani Junction accident victims at Londiani town in Kericho county on July 4, 2023. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

A senior police officer has been summoned to court after failing to provide a file in the case where Mogotio MP Reuben Kiborek is facing a defilement charge.

Nakuru Chief Magistrate Bildad Ochieng issued the orders after the prosecutor, Oscar Limisi, told the court that he was not ready to proceed with the case.

Kiborek is alleged to have defiled a 16-year-old girl at a Nakuru hotel on December 23, 2018. When the matter first came up for hearing, he denied the charges.

"I am inclined to allow an adjournment but warn the prosecution that it is the last time summons will be issued to OCS Bondeni," Ochieng said.

The case has been dragging on in court since 2018 before Kiborek was elected to the national assembly.

Limisi informed the court that the file was in the custody of the OCS for safekeeping. Kiborek's lawyer, Gordon Ogolla, informed the court that the case has not proceeded since 2018.

"This matter has been in court since 2018, and there has not been a single day when the prosecution has made witnesses available. It is embarrassing to see a file from 2018 on the cause list," Ogolla said.

Ogolla said the accused was enduring an injustice and advised the prosecution to withdraw the case if they were not prepared to proceed.

The case has not progressed to a hearing since 2018, prompting the victim's lawyer and the Office of the Ombudsman to write to the Judiciary regarding the delay.

On January 17, 2023, the case failed to proceed to a hearing as the prosecution informed the court that the investigating officer had been transferred and had not yet handed over the file to the incoming officer.

Back on July 21, 2022, the law firm of Rabala and Co. Advocates wrote a letter to the court questioning why the case had not yet commenced.

The law firm protested that the delay violated the standard procedure for prosecuting defilement cases within six months.

The Office of the Ombudsman also delved into the matter through a letter it wrote to the court on September 1.

The court responded to the letter, indicating that the delay was due to the transfer of five magistrates, who were handling the case.

The case will now be mentioned on November 6.