Man held over Msando death released with no charges

Monday September 4 2017

Andrew Kipkoech Rono, who has been in police custody for 19 days after being linked to the death IEBC ICT Manager Chris Msando appears at the High Court in Nairobi on September 4, 2017. Justice James Wakiaga discharged him after the DPP requested he be released. The case will be mentioned on October 2 at Kiambu High Court. PHOTO | RICHARD MUNGUTI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Andrew Kipkoech Rono, who has been in police custody for 19 days after being linked to the death IEBC ICT Manager Chris Msando appears at the High Court in Nairobi on September 4, 2017. Justice James Wakiaga discharged him after the DPP requested he be released. The case will be mentioned on October 2 at Kiambu High Court. PHOTO | RICHARD MUNGUTI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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The High Court has discharged an accountant being investigated over the death of IEBC ICT manager Chris Msando with no charges being preferred against him.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko urged Justice James Wakiaga to discharge the suspect, Mr Andrew Kipkoech Rono, then direct him to be reporting to the homicide department of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

A state prosecutor, Ms Catherine Mwaniki, urged Justice Wakiaga to release the suspect as the police conduct further investigations but defence lawyers Harun Ndubi and Geofrey Tele opposed saying “no charges have been preferred against the suspect despite being detained for 19 days.”

Ms Mwaniki stated that she had been instructed by the DPP to ask the court to discharge the suspect while investigations proceed.

“Police will release the suspect on bond then require him to report to the homicide department of the Directorate of the Criminal Investigations as it deems necessary,” Ms Mwaniki submitted.

OPPOSED DETENTION

Mr Ndubi opposed any further detention of the suspect, stating that police have not found any convincing evidence to enable them file a murder charge against Mr Rono. He then urged Justice Wakiaga to discharge him unconditionally.

Mr Rono, 58, an accountant with a State corporation, has been in police custody for 19 days.

He will be released on a police bond while investigations on Mr Msando’s death continue.

He has been in custody since August 16, 2017 when he was detained on orders of a Kiambu magistrate.

THREATENING MESSAGE

The magistrate had allowed a police request to have Mr Rono detained and probed over an allegedly threatening message he was said to have sent the late Msando, whose killing caused an uproar.

The defence lawyers had applied to have the detention orders by the magistrate quashed, saying they violated Mr Rono’s fundamental and constitutional rights.

“The magistrate did not exercise her discretion judiciously in ordering the suspect be detained for 14 days in total disregarded of his rights under Article 49 of the Constitution which allows a suspect to be admitted to bond,” the defence said.

In his ruling, Justice Wakiaga discharged the suspect and directed the case be mentioned before the Kiambu High Court on October 2 for further directions.

Mr Msando’s body and that of a woman was found dumped in a thicket in Kiambu County on July 31 after he was reported missing on July 28, 2017.