Lawyers in death of two brothers in Kianjokoma case pull out

Tuesday, August 31st, 2021 00:00 |
Five of the six police officers suspected of killing two brothers in Embu (left to right) James Mwaniki, Lilian Cherono Chemuna, Martin Msamali Wanyama, Nicholas Sang Cheruiyot and Benson Mbuthia arrive at Milimani Law Courts. Photo/PD/CHARLES MATHAI

A team of lawyers representing six police officers implicated in the death of two brothers in Kianjokoma, Embu County yesterday withdrew from the case after the High Court ruled that they should plead to the murder charges.

The accused: Benson Mputhia, Consolata Kariuki, Nicholas Cheruiyot, Martin Wanyama, Lilian Chemuna and James Mwaniki were being represented by Dunstan Omari and Cliff Ombeta among others.

Led by Omari, the advocates had put up a spirited fight to have the plea deferred claiming the six police officers had Covid-19 symptoms but Justice Daniel Ogembo dismissed the application and directed them to take plea.

In a turn of events, the 10 lawyers withdrew from the case claiming they had no instructions to represent the officers in plea-taking.

“Our instructions were to stop the plea, those instructions have been extinguished by the ruling of the court.

As at now, the five are unrepresented…The defence team has withdrawn, it has no instructions,” Omari told the court.

The officers while representing themselves asked the court to give them more time to get advocates to represent them in the matter.

The prosecution team led by Assistant DPP Jacinta Nyamosi   asked the court to appoint for them state counsels to represent them in the matter and they be remanded at Industrial Area and Lang’ata women prisons pending their plea taking.

Justice Ogembo directed the matter to be mentioned today before Deputy Registrar so that they can be given a State Counsel.

“Considering the circumstances, the matter cannot proceed without advocates, if you have advocates of your choice, they should appear tomorrow in the meantime they should be remanded at Capitol Hill,” ruled the Judge.

One of the officers, Consolata Kariuki, was not in court yesterday and Omari had claimed she had contracted Covid-19.

Omari claimed all the police officers developed Covid-19 related symptoms on Monday.

“They pleaded to be taken to hospital, I personally went to Capitol Police Station, the six were taken to KNH, they were never tested for Covid-19, they suffered the whole night, that explains why the second accused (Consolata) is not before you,” Omari told the court.

Omari also argued that the there was still a miscellaneous application pending which   the state had sought 14 days before a Magistrate court.

“The instructions we have is that they are not ready to take plea, they still can be detained and once they have been cleared medically, they can plead to the charges,” argued Omari.

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