A doctor has told a Meru magistrate’s court how former government pathologist Moses Njue carried a dead man’s heart and kidney without the family’s permission after an autopsy.
Dr Scholastica Kimani, a pathologist attached to the Meru Level V hospital, told Meru Senior Resident Magistrate Evans Mbicha how after carrying out a post mortem on the body of Mzee Benedict Karau, Dr Njue wrapped up the organs and left with them.
Dr Kimani was representing the government while Dr Njue had been retained by Ms Martha Gakou, the third widow of Mzee Karau, who was with him when he died in March 2015.
She said that Dr Njue, who was accompanied by some students from Kings Medical College, recorded the cause of death as heart attack because of a clot in one of the arteries but he insisted on carrying the heart to perform histology to back up the claim.
Dr Kimani said she was at first concerned that Dr Njue was carrying the organs without the family’s consent but thought he would inform them later.
She also told the court that although Mzee Karau had visible head injuries, the finding was not considered as probable cause of death of the man who was over 70-years-old.
Before hearing began on Tuesday, Ms Martha Gakou called for an adjournment so that her lawyer could be enjoined in the matter, claiming that she had been adversely mentioned during the inquest.
However, the prosecution successfully argued against the request, noting that seven witnesses had already given their testimony yet she had not showed interest in the inquest.
State counsel Anthony Musyoka also noted that the court had not yet made its finding on whether to prosecute anyone in connection to the death.
Dr Kimani said they had also sent some samples to the Government Chemist since there was suspicion of poisoning.
It was only after the family, through lawyer Charles Mwongela, obtained an exhumation order seeking a second autopsy that she asked Dr Njue if he had concluded the histology so that he could return the heart, but Dr Njue kept postponing.
Dr Njue has since been charged with the alleged theft of the organs and destruction of evidence.
The family claims that the missing organs were meant to conceal the correct cause of death.
The family though advice from a forensic pathologist was convinced that the head injuries could cause death of the elderly man and wanted to see if there were defensive injuries.
The inquest continues on August 1.