12 June 2012

Kenya: Austrian's Rape Case Goes to Ninth Magistrate

A case against five suspects charged with gang-raping an Austrian aid worker during a robbery will now proceed before a ninth magistrate. The eighth disqualified herself from the proceedings yesterday after the suspects became unruly in court saying they did not expect any fairness in their trial. The seventh magistrate who was handling the case and of whom the suspects said they had confidence in has since resigned from the judiciary.

The magistrate, court heard, had released two of the suspects on bond but the decision was later challenged and overturned on the grounds they had compromised her. The five suspects are charged with sexually assaulting the social worker at the home Anne Valarie Leakey, an ex-wife of Phillip Leakey, the one time cabinet minister and MP for Langata, on March 31 2006.

Amongst them are three death row inmates earlier condemned in a separate case. They are demanding that the proceedings start afresh. The complainant has testified six times before on the behest of the suspects and a court file also disappeared towards the conclusion of the last sitting. The prosecution said the suspects have been delaying justice for the last six years and "can no longer be allowed to undermine the proceedings with such seeming impunity."

They have been warned that the trial may now be conducted in their absence. The suspects are also charged with robbing two other missionaries of property worth Sh2 million. The missionaries were visiting the Leakey home on the fateful day. They are represented by lawyer Evans Ondieki. Yesterday, an order was made that the case l be heard expeditiously on a day to day basis till conclusion. It now resumes before Kibera magistrate Teresia Matheka on Friday.

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