Judge faults DPP for five-year delay in prosecuting man for murder

Justice Reuben Nyakundi. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

A High Court judge has faulted the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for delaying a murder case that has been pending in court since July 2017.

Justice Reuben Nyakundi said that not a single witness had testified in the case in which a 26-year-old man is accused of killing his girlfriend.

“It is unbelievable that this matter has been pending in the courts since 2017. We did not have the Covid-19 pandemic in the years (2017-2019) for you to blame as the cause of the delay of this matter. This is an impediment to justice and is not allowed,” Justice Nyakundi said. “If you have no evidence against the accused person, then you know the proper channels to follow so that this issue is expedited.”

In the case, Eric Alumasa is accused of the murder of Viola Chepchirchir between July 8 and 10, 2017, at Chemoni in Nandi County.

Alumasa, who has been in remand prison since his arrest, told the court that he was ready to plead guilty if the prosecution would accept his plea bargain to have the murder charges reduced to manslaughter.

“I have filed three written applications for a plea bargain, but I have not received a response from the prosecution. I am asking that a way forward be given to me because the case has dragged for years,” he said.

The judge directed that the matter be mentioned next month for further directions after the prosecution and Alumasa’s advocate agree on the plea bargain application.