The Meru High Court has declined to release on bail four people accused of killing a chief in Marsabit, until one of the seven witnesses has testified.
Resident Judge Alfred Mabeya on Thursday said there is an existing order barring Mr Doyo Galgalo, Mr Galma Galgalo, Ms Bokaya Dida Boru and Mr Somo Huqa from seeking bail until the witnesses who sought protection are heard.
The four denied killing Dirib Kombo chief Bida Gogana on December 16 last year at Gar-qarsa in Marsabit Central.
The circumstances surrounding his death have not yet been established. What is known is he was killed after attending the burial of a police reservist. And his body set on fire.
Six witnesses testified in-camera over safety concerns. One more was placed under witness protection and will testify on April 1.
"The matter is coming up for hearing on April 1, a date that is reasonably not far . .. I am of the view therefore that the application is premature. It should have been renewed after the last vulnerable witness has testified," Justice Mabeya ruled, informing them of the opportunity to renew their application in future.
The defence had argued that the accused had so far not interfered with investigations and would not do so if released.