Kenya: Suspect in Tecra Muigai's Death Freed on Bond

A court in Lamu on Wednesday released a suspect in the death of Keroche Breweries heiress Tecra Muigai on bond.

Omar Lali was freed on Sh 300,000 bond and two sureties.

While delivering the bond ruling, Lamu Law Courts Principal Magistrate Allan Temba approved Mr Lali's mother and his brother-in-law as sureties.

On Tuesday the court rejected an application to continue holding in Mr Lali, the boyfriend of Ms Muigai who died after a fall.

On May 4, Lamu Principal Magistrate Allan Temba allowed the police to detain Mr Lali for 21 days at the Lamu Police Station to enable them conduct comprehensive investigations into the suspected murder of Ms Muigai.

The case was to be mentioned on Tuesday, May 26, for the investigator to submit a report and the court to issue further directions.

The court session was held via video link.

EXTENSION

When appearing on the live court session on Tuesday, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) applied for an extension of the detention of Mr Lali by another week.

The argument was that the DCI wanted Mr Lali to go with them to the crime scenes, including Jaha House in Shella, Lamu where Ms Muigai sustained the serious head injuries after she allegedly fell on the stairs and later died as she received treatment at a Nairobi hospital.

This particular visit would be the fourth one as the investigators had already taken the suspect to the scene three other times.

DECLINED

But while delivering the court's decision, Mr Temba refused to extend the pre-trial detention on various grounds.

First, the police had already visited the crime scene with Mr Lali three times and the suspect fully cooperated. The investigators already took evidence from the scene and that it will be excessive to keep Mr Lali in the station cell just so that the police revisit the scene of crime.

Secondly, the granted 21 days that have elapsed were more than sufficient but no conclusive evidence had been found to enable the DPP make a decision on what offence to charge or not to charge the suspect with.

Thirdly, the court argued that the pending phone extraction is not a process that requires Mr Lali to be in custody further.

The fourth ground was that the pending toxicology analysis does not require Mr Lali to be further detained as Ms Muigai's samples have already been taken and are being analysed independent of the suspect.

The court also stated that Mr Lali has strong community ties and has a family.

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