28 November 2012

Kenya: Two Charged With Murder of Woman

Two of the six suspects who were being investigated for allegedly killing a 52-year-old woman over a Sh 70 million property were yesterday charged with murder at the High Court in Malindi.

Emericus Hendricus Van De Werf, a Dutch who was running the disputed Sailfish club, and Said Abudala Mwaweche, a manager of the hotel, appeared before Malindi resident judge Christine Meoli and denied the charges.

The other four were released after the investigation team found no evidence linking them to the murder of Lillian Mwikali Andre who was killed and dumped in a septic tank at sailfish club two weeks ago.

They include David Kadenge Ngalla, Mwinyi Kombo Said Garashi, Bakari Mukala Dzila and Samson Bahati Kimbeji a private court process server based in Malindi.

The Investigation team, represented by Solomon Naulikha from the DPP, had earlier told the Malindi Senior Principal magistrate during the mention of the case that the two were key suspects in the murder of Mwikali.

"I wish to bring attention o the court that the investigating team and the DPP has concluded investigations and have evidence to charge the first and second accused persons (Hendricus, and Mwacheche) with murder," he said

The court was fully packed with other curious onlookers watching from outside to know the fate of the six suspects who have been in custody for 12 days as police had not concluded their investigations.

At one time Naulikha from the DPP who led the prosecution at the lower court engaged the defense lawyers in a heated debate after they demanded to be assured that the two key suspects' charges would not be delayed.

The magistrate ordered the four to be set free and directed that the matter proceed against the first and second accused persons in the appropriate forum.

Naulikha was previously non committal on whether the matter would proceed in the high court or not arguing that it was a civil case week as per the diary.

However after about an hour the high court was called into order and the two Murder suspects brought in to take plea. Werf and Mwaweche were charged that on November 11 this year at Sailfish club in Malindi Town of Kilifi County killed Lillian Mwikali Andre.

Defence lawyer representing the Dutch national Michael Oloo applied to the court to be served with a copy of the evidence, any list of prosecution witnesses and exhibits which the court wished to rely on during trial.

He also applied for a bond claiming the constitution gave a right to any accused person to be released on bail. The lawyer also applied to the court to order the Dutch national to be taken to hospital as he had contacted Tuberculosis during the time he was in police custody.

Assistant Director of Public Prosecution Alloys Kemo however asked the court to give him time to prepare for a debate on whether the suspect ought to be released or not.

The suspects were brought at the packed and congested court in the morning at a half past nine in tourist police Xtrail car with an escort of CID van in front of a crowd of curious onlookers who were eagerly waiting to hear the case which had taken 12 days without kicking off.

The judge set the case for mention and bail application on December 18 to give time for preparation of report by Mr. Wahome from the Probation office.

She also directed the Dutch national to be taken for treatment in hospital. Lady Justice Meoli also set the case for hearing on February on February 12 and 13 next year.

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