Kenya: Father, Three Sons Charged With Kidnapping Security Guard in Meru

A court in Maua, Meru County has remanded a father and his three sons after they denied kidnapping, assaulting and seeking Sh165,000 ransom from a security guard they had allegedly abducted.

Mr Paul Mbaabu Muketha, 56, together with one of his sons, Mr Joseph Karithi denied kidnapping Mr Amos Kairethia, 29, before Senior Resident Magistrate Andrew Munene on Monday and will be held until July 14, 2020 when bail application will be heard.

His other sons - Patrick Kimathi and Daniel Muroki - pleaded guilty to the charge of abducting Mr Kairethia in Maua and holding him inside Mpinda Forest and will be sentenced on the same day.

STOLEN MOTORBIKE

Mr Kimathi and Mr Muroki owned up to the offence, saying that they had abducted the man to force him into confessing that he had stolen a motorcycle belonging to Mr Kimathi.

However, the four of them denied demanding Sh165,000 ransom from the family of Mr Kairethia and assaulting him, causing him bodily harm during the 14 days he was held captive.

Mr Kimathi, who had difficulties walking after he was subjected to mob justice during his arrest last Friday, claimed he had planned the kidnap of Mr Kairethia so that he could recover his motorcycle.

State Counsel Catherine Gakii said she would read the particulars of the case on July 14 after the complainant, who is still hospitalised, is interviewed by police, so as to guide the court in sentencing.

She also supplied copies of the statements to the accused for perusal.

MISSING PERSON REPORT

Mr Kairethia had allegedly been abducted on allegations that a motorcycle belonging to one of the accused people had been stolen from a residential house he guarded.

Unaware of what had transpired, his relatives had at first filed a report of a missing person but were allegedly called and asked to pay the ransom, with the callers threatening to harm the complainant.

Following the threats, police mounted a week-long forensic investigation and traced the three in the forest which is used as a shrine by Njuri Ncheke elders.

Residents who had seen the three men venturing into the forest led the police in combing the area where the suspects were cornered as they tried to flee.

Police were forced to fire 13 times in the air to scare an irate crowd that had started beating up the suspected abductors, threatening to lynch them.

The three led police to a nearby thicket where the victim, who was visibly shaken and weak, was found tied with ropes. He had suffered swollen joints and black burn marks on both legs and hands.

Police recovered four mobile phones, two daggers, a long knife, a bag containing a bed sheet, a plastic cup, a jug and a water bottle at the scene.

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