Kenya: "Slay Queen" Murder Suspect Denied Bail - Judge Cites Inexistence of Known Address

Jacque Maribe and fiance Joseph Irungu in court.
30 October 2018

Nairobi — Television journalist Jacque Maribe's ex-fiancé Joseph Irungu alias Jowie was Tuesday denied bail over the possibility of him absconding future court appearances and lack of a known physical address.

Justice James Wakiaga however released Maribe on Sh2 million surety bail with an alternative of a Sh1 million cash bail with three sureties of a similar amount after a month-long incarceration in a ruling rendered Tuesday afternoon.

"The picture that emerges from the Prosecution's evidence and the pre-bail report of the first accused (Irungu) is that he is a male version of a slay queen which for lack of better terminology I will call a woman eater," Justice Wakiaga said.

"He was living in the house of the second accused (Maribe), driving her car with no known source of income since 2017 when he provided security to some Jubilee Party politicians," the judge went on to explain.

Maribe and Irungu were charged on October 15 before Justice Jessie Lessit with the murder of Monica Kimani, a businesswoman found dead at her Lamuria Gardens Apartment in Kilimani on September 19.

Justice Lessit had referred the matter to Justice Wakiaga who heard bail applications by the two on October 24.

The Lady Justice had prior to charging Maribe ordered a mental assessment on the journalist when she was first arraigned before her court on October 12 after preliminary investigations into Kimani's murder.

The Prosecution had on October 1 secured an approval from Kiambu Principal Magistrate Justus Kituku to continue holding the suspects for eleven days to conclude investigations.

Maribe had been arraigned before the court having been arrested on September 29 during a routine questioning by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

While issuing the bail application ruling on Tuesday, Justice Wakiaga restricted Maribe from reading news, conducting interviews or making comments related to the murder trial whose hearing was set for June 18-27, 2019.

During the Tuesday court session, it emerged that Maribe was not intending to go back to the house where she was living with Irungu at the time of her arrest.

It is based on the revelation that Justice Wakiaga concluded that Irungu had no alternative accommodation given the fact that he was living in Maribe's house.

"Whereas the first accused (Irungu) has indicated that his siblings are likely to find him an alternative accommodation, there's no evidence placed before this court to support this preposition," Justice Wakiaga outlined.

"The first accused has no known assets in the country say for an intention to set up a private security firm. I therefore find him to be with not fixed aboard, lacking any deep emotional occupation or family ties in the country and is likely to abscond should need arise," he added.

The Tuesday ruling was a climax of a strong defence put up by Maribe through her lawyer Katwa Kigen, the prime time television news anchor distancing herself from the actions of Irungu.

In a 35-point affidavit sworn a day before her return to court on October 17, Maribe deponed that she was just Irungu's lover at the time the crime is said to have been committed wondering why she had been charged with Monica's murder seemingly because she was in a romantic relationship with him.

"Without a doubt the 1st accused (Irungu) was my fiancé. I the circumstances, I definitely communicated with him. It is most unfair to use the communication between me and the 1st accused in the given circumstances of our then existing relationship as a reason to withhold bail," she had argued.

Maribe told the court she believed the only reason she was standing trial for the murder of Kimani was because I "was in a love relationship with a person the prosecution have an interest in," allowed Irungu to come live in her house, and gave him access to her car.

She stated that the prosecution had neither witness accounts nor forensic material associating her either directly or indirectly with the murder of Monica, a person she insisted she had no knowledge of.

"I had no motive to kill the deceased. I didn't participate directly or indirectly in it. No motive is alleged with regard to me," she averred.

"Further, the lack of ingredient of motive goes in the strength of the alleged case against us/me," she further wrote under oath.

In her affidavit, Maribe had pleaded for her admission to bail on reasonable grounds as provided for in Article 49 (h) praying that the cash bail amount be set at an amount not exceeding Sh350,000 with a similar surety.

The Citizen Television news anchor had denied knowledge of Irungu's whereabouts on the night of September 19 when he is said to have allegedly murdered Kimani.

The Friday Night host also denied knowledge of burning clothes Irungu is suspected to have worn on the fateful night, saying she was not aware of the incident neither did she approve the burning.

Similarly, Maribe denied knowledge of monies Monica who had just returned from Juba in South Sudan could have been carrying when she was killed at her apartment.

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