German in sexual assault case challenges criminal proceedings

A German national facing defilement, sexual assault and human trafficking charges at Nakuru Law Court has moved to the High Court to challenge the criminal proceedings.

Martin Baumgartner, 62, is facing 14 counts of defilement, indecent act and human trafficking, allegedly committed between 2006 and 2023 within Bahati sub-county.

He is seeking to stay proceedings at the lower court as well as be allowed to access property -Twajenga Holdings Company Limited.

Baumgartner was arrested on February 14, 2023 and charged on February 20. He denied the charges when he appeared before Senior Resident Magistrate Emmanuel Soita.

The German was released on Sh1 million bond with a Kenyan surety of a similar amount and surrendered his passports to the court.

In March, Soita ordered that the accused would only be released after victims have testified and barred him from accessing Twajenga Holdings, contacting, intimidating or threatening prosecution witnesses directly or by proxy.

He challenged the orders before Justice Samuel Mohochi and sought to have police compelled to release his phone and laptop confiscated during arrest.

“That this honourable court be pleased to issue an order directing the respondent (the state) to release the Baumgartner’s gadgets being two mobile phones Samsung M32, Samsung A52, a laptop Asus model and a flash drive,” read the court papers.

The accused argued that the phones and laptop contained vital information for his defense.

He alleged that the prosecution had been holding his gadgets for a long period to extract information.

Baumgartner argued that his absence at Twajenga Holding Company Limited will paralyse operations as he serves as the director.

The prosecution, however, claimed the gadgets had been forwarded to Nairobi for extraction of data which it planned to rely on.

State counsel Loice Murunga argued that by allowing the suspect to access the company he is likely to interfere with the witnesses due to his great influence in the community as the director.

“He is a person with great attachment to the victims to a level that they refer to him as Mzee, he pays for their upkeep so there is a likelihood of the victims being compromised,” she said.

The court will deliver the ruling on March 4.

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