We cleared Lali in Tecra murder case for lack of proof, says DPP
Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi
The Director of Public Prosecutions says the decision to drop a murder charge against Omar Lali, the main suspect in the death of Keroche heiress Tecra Muigai, was due to lack of sufficient evidence.
Hahi states that it had been established that there was no compelling proof to sustain murder charges against Lali as recommended by the investigating agency and thus an inquest was the best option.
“Initially, a decision to charge the suspect with murder was made. However, upon review of the file, we established that there was insufficient evidence to support the murder offence,” said Evelyne Onunga, a Prosecution Counsel in court documents.
Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja had challenged the DPP’s bid to have the inquest into Tecra’s death transferred from the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi to Lamu, saying it poses a threat to their lives.
The DPP, however, in response, promised to ensure the matter is handled professionally saying allegations by Karanja were vexatious and malicious.
According to the DPP, the decision to have inquest conducted in Lamu was based on, among other factors, that the alleged offense was committed in the Coastal Island and the fact that the scene of crime is in the same town.
Key evidence can also only be obtained in Lamu while the principal witnesses are also based there, Onunga said
“The evidence collected in Nairobi cannot therefore unravel the mystery of the death of the deceased…No investigations were done in Nairobi other than the postmortem test,” argued DPP in court documents.
“All critical witnesses reside in Lamu and should the case be instituted in Nairobi, they would be inconvenienced,” added DPP.
According to DPP, the claims that Lali rules Lamu Island, owns a boat and thus commands massive influence on the Island were unfounded as no evidence was furnished to that effect.
“There is no evidence express or manifest that has been tendered to show that the suspect or any other person has intention of causing any harm to the deponent’s family.
In the absence thereof, the deponent cannot make such grave allegations,” argued the prosecution.
The DPP said the decision to withdraw the inquest proceedings from Milimani Chief Magistrate court in preference for Lamu, was due to a review of the file based on the jurisdiction where the incident occurred.
He dismissed claims by the family to appoint a Special prosecutor due to lack of confidence in him, saying it was baseless.
“There is no evidence that has been given to show that the DPP or any of his officers were compromised or that undue influence was exerted upon them to warrant the DPP to make the decision,” said the DPP.