Lawyer in Belgian murder case given strict bond terms

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 00:00 |
Nakuru lawyer Hari Gakinya, who is accused of conspiracy to murder Belgian woman Dysseleer Lesoipa. Photo/PD/FILE

Alphonce Mung’ahu

Nakuru-based lawyer Hari Gakinya  and businesswoman Lucy Waithera who are accused of murdering a Belgian woman have been released on cash bail of Sh200,000 each, pending the hearing and determination of the case.

Justice Daniel Ogembo of the Nairobi High Court delivered his ruling through video link. 

The two have denied murdering  Belgian woman Dysseleer Mireille  Lesoipa between December 11, 2018 and July 5, 2019 at an unknown place in Kenya. 

Ogembo also granted the two an alternative of bond of Sh2 million with a similar surety and directed them not to leave the jurisdiction of court without permission.  

They were further ordered to deposit  their passports with the court and not to interfere with witnesses while out on bail. The two are required to attend court when required.

A team of defence lawyers, led by Cliff Ombeta, had urged the judge to release their clients on bail or bond as arguing their continued detention was unconstitutional and an infringement on their fundamental rights.

“The applicants have a qualified constitutional right to be released on bond or bail on reasonable conditions,” said lawyer Ombeta.

He said the accused had a constitutional right to be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved and promised that they would abide by any conditions set by the court.

Justice Ogembo rejected objection to release the two on bail by Senior State Counsel Wangui Gichuhi, saying no compelling reason had been given by the prosecution to warrant the court to deny them bail.

Earlier, Ombeta had protested the delay in prison authorities taking Waithera for mental test at Mathari Hospital.

He said it had been two months since her arrest and she was yet to be evaluated.

“It has taken two days to have Gakinya assessed yet Waithera has been held in custody for many days without action,” said Ombeta.

Lesoipa, who was married to a Samburu dancer before they separated in 2003, went missing from her home in Milimani, Nakuru County, in June last year.

Police investigations led to the arrest of her close friend Waithera, who detectives say hired the services of Gakinya to file a succession case before the High Court in Nakuru.

In the case,  Gakinya claimed Lesoipa had died from HIV/Aids complications, leaving behind a will in which she had named him the executor of her property worth over Sh100 million.

He sought to be issued with grants of probate to execute Lesoipa’s will.

But detectives from the Homicide Investigations Unit of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations established that the documents used to file the case were not authentic.

Justice Wakiaga had directed the parties to return to court on May 8, for hearing of bail application.

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