24 February 2011

Kenya: Probation Office in Warder Drugs Case Given More Time

A Mombasa Court has directed the probation office to file a detailed report on the conduct and background of a prison warder who is accused of trafficking heroin.

Probation officer Fred Musyimi had informed the court that the time allocated for his office to present a pre-bail report on Shafa Abdi when he was charged on Monday, was short.

Chief Magistrate Rosemelle Mutoka had instructed the office to file the report yesterday, but they sought more time saying they had not been able to get interviews from some of the accused's relatives.

Mutoka directed that the report include remarks from Abdi's boss at Shimo La Tewa prison before the court can make its decision.

The court also wanted the probation department to ascertain whether the suspect, who resides at the prisons quarters, can get alternative accommodation in case the consideration is made.

"We also need to know his family background and any other details that can assist this court," Mutoka said.

Abdi who was represented by lawyer Jared Magolo was charged with trafficking in 10.4 grammes of heroin with a street value of Sh25,000 on February 19 at Coast General Hospital in Mombasa.

"We received the file late yesterday afternoon and it was difficult to trace some of the relatives, we request for more time," Musyimi said.

The magistrate said it was vital for information from the employer to be presented in the report before the court makes its verdict.

The warder is being detained at Shimo La Tewa prison where he works, pending a determination on the pre-bail.

Magolo confirmed to court that he was not opposed to the application by the probation department seeking more time.

The case will be mentioned on February 25.

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