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They’re lying, I didn’t take dead man’s heart, says Moses Njue

Friday November 8 2019

Dr Moses Njue

Former chief government pathologist Moses Njue testifies in a Meru court on November 7, 2019 in the inquest into the death of Mzee Benedict Karau, whose heart went missing following an autopsy. He denied taking the heart. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

CHARLES WANYORO
By CHARLES WANYORO
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Former chief government pathologist Moses Njue has denied stealing a dead man’s heart.

He spoke on Thursday in an inquest into the death of a former assistant chief.

In a stormy session where tempers flared, Dr Njue said the three other pathologists who said he had carried the heart of Mzee Benedict Karau after a post-mortem were lying.

During cross-examination by Prof Kiama Wangai, a lawyer-cum forensic pathologist, Dr Njue said he did not carry the heart and a kidney for use in teaching his students at Kings College.

LEFT WITH ORGANS

Dr Scholastica Kimani, a pathologist attached to the Meru Level Five Hospital had earlier testified that Dr Njue wrapped the organs and left with them, soon after carrying out a post-mortem exam on the body of Mzee Karau.

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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.

But on Thursday, Dr Njue distanced himself from the missing heart, saying the incisions were made by Dr Kimani.

Dr Njue has since been charged with the theft of the organs and destruction of evidence.

CAUSE OF DEATH

The family claims that the missing organs were meant to conceal the correct cause of death.

“That is not true, that is hearsay. If other pathologists say so, that is their problem,” he fired back.

Dr Njue admitted seeing the heart during the initial post-mortem exam, but said he could not explain where it was.

He told Meru Senior Resident Magistrate Evans Mbicha that he concluded that Mzee Karau had died of a heart attack.

Dr Njue, who currently works for the Embu County government, said the injuries on both cheeks and the back of the head were synonymous with those incurred by a heart attack patient.

HEART ATTACK

He said a person experiencing a heart attack would stand stiff, behave as if he is choking and then fall down, and could suffer such injuries on his way down.

“From my expert training, the injuries were sustained as he fell; the body twists and turns as it falls. I am a forensic pathologist, an injury specialist,” he told the court.

However, Mr Mbicha had to regularly intervene as the cross examination session went out of hand, with Dr Njue questioning Prof Wangai’s credentials, claiming that he had taught him and he failed.

He defended the presence of the students from Kings College at the operation table, saying the family had not opposed it.

The inquest continues.

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