One of the six Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers accused of killing a herder at Tsavo East National Park and dumping his body in the crocodile-infested River Galana will face murder charges.
This was revealed after the six suspects appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Silvia Wewa on Wednesday for mention on an investigation report by police.
William Lopolian, Joseph Mbugua Njoroge, Duncan Irungu, Santos Opiyo, Diba Gonso and Mohamed Kullow are accused of killing Mr Lami Bocha on December 24 2018 at Huri area of Tsavo East National Park.
Prosecuting Counsel Alice Mathangani told the court that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji intends to charge Mr Njoroge with murder at the Malindi High Court.
She said the DPP also intends to transfer the other five suspects to other courts outside Malindi to face charges of accessory to murder.
Ms Mathangani said the five suspects assisted in disposing the body of the herder after he was shot dead by Mr Njoroge on the fateful day.
But the suspects, who were represented by three lawyers, objected to the application claiming that the lower court has no jurisdiction to transfer a case.
Mr James Mouko, one of the defence lawyers, asked the court to refer the application to the High Court for further direction to clear any doubt.
He opposed the separation of the suspects, adding that transferring some to Garsen Law Courts could be dangerous to their lives since that is where the dead herder came from.
Two other defence lawyers supported the objection and asked the court to refer the application to the High Court.
In her ruling, Ms Wewa dismissed the application by the DPP and directed that the matter be heard at the Malindi High Court for determination.
The suspects were remanded at Malindi Police Station until April 2 when their case will be mentioned.