14 December 2007

Kenya: Pastor - I Killed in Self-Defence

Nairobi — A pastor charged with the murder of a former intelligence officer told a Nakuru court the deceased wanted to kill him.

Pastor Charles Cheriro Cheruiyot told Nakuru Judge, Lady Justice Martha Koome, that he killed the former officer, Benson Matangi Okemwa, in self-defence.

But State counsel, Ms Linda Opati, rubbished the defence, saying the accused acted in vengeance rather than self-defence.

The pastor allegedly committed the offence on April 15, last year at Marishoni in Elburgon.

Opati said Okemwa had fired four shots in the air after realising his life was in danger from the accused.

"One of the shots should have hit the accused if he were the target as he wants the court to believe," she argued.

However, defence lawyer, Mr Gordon Ogolla, said the pastor had gone to the farm to construct a house and did not know the former officer would visit.

He said by producing a gun, the deceased made his intention of killing the accused obvious.

"The sight of a gun signifies death and it cannot be said the accused used excessive force to defend himself," he told the court.

The pastor said Okemwa wanted to kill him following an argument over a piece of land.

Judgement will be delivered on February 29.

In the same court, a police officer said a man charged with killing his girlfriend had attempted to commit suicide.

Mr Phillip Limo told the court John Oduor Onyango, who is accused of killing Ms Habiba Kassa Bore, 24, took rat poison after the incident.

Onyango allegedly committed the offence on September 6, last year at Nakuru London Estate.

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