17 June 2019

Kenya: Court Says Ivy Wangechi Murder Suspect Could Jump Bail

Naftali Kinuthia, the prime suspect in the gruesome killing of Moi University medical student Ivy Wangechi, has been denied bail.

While making the ruling Monday in Eldoret on Kinuthia's bail application, High Court Judge Stephen Githinji cited the grave nature of case case facing the suspect in declining to grant his request.

Justice Githinji stated that Kinuthia's security will be at risk if released on bond, adding that public confidence in the administration of justice is likely to be demeaned by such a move.

"There is also a likelihood of the suspect interfering with prosecution witnesses and also absconding court due to the strength of the evidence in the alleged murder case he is facing," ruled the judge.

NO FIXED ABODE

The judge also relied on the probation officer's report which stated that Kinuthia has no clear permanent residence in Nairobi.

The court was told that the suspect has no fixed home and that, if released on bond, he is likely to jump bail and flee the country as his passport is being processed.

Further, the judge stated that going by the investigating officer Josphat Langat's statement on the safety of the suspect, it would not be wise to grant him his request for bail.

SAFETY

The police officer told the court that they have intelligence reports to the effect that Kinuthia's safety is not guaranteed once out of court.

According to the court, the prosecution presented compelling reasons to deny the accused bail.

The suspect, who was said to have been armed with an axe and a knife, is said to have attacked and killed the medical student outside the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret in April.

WAYLAID WANGECHI

Kinuthia, who is a former employee of a betting company in Nairobi, allegedly waylaid Wangechi as she was returning to her hostel which is opposite the MTRH as she left the wards.

Kinuthia has denied killing Wangechi.

He is represented by lawyer Mbiyu Kamau while the victim's family is represented by a team of four lawyers led by Mr Nathan Oburu and Ms Caroline Nyakinyua.

The case will be mentioned on July 17.

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