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Eric Oloo murder: Suspect held longer, brother freed on bond

Monday January 20 2020

Victor Odhiambo Luta and Franklin Joel Luta

Brothers Victor Odhiambo Luta and Franklin Joel Luta at the Siaya High Court on January 20, 2020, for a bond ruling in the murder of journalist Eric Oloo. PHOTO | DICKENS WASONGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DICKENS WASONGA
By DICKENS WASONGA
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The High Court in Siaya on Monday rejected a bond request by Mr Franklin Joel Luta, a suspect in the murder case of ''The Star'' journalist Eric Oloo.

Judge Roseline Aburili rejected Franklin's request after the county probation officer termed him a flight risk, saying he failed to adhere to bail terms in a case in 2018.

"Given the conduct of the first accused in another matter, where he declined to take part in community service upon being released, the court deems it fit to deny him bond," Ms Aburili said. He will remain in custody at Siaya prison.

SECOND ACCUSED

Franklin's brother Victor Ogola Luta is the second accused in the case.

The court released him on a Sh600,000 cash bail or Sh2 million bond with two sureties of the same amount.

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RECUSAL

Earlier, the judge discharged Franklin's lawyer, Ms Rowela Ndeda, after she recused herself from the case, saying the journalist was once her colleague.

Lawyer Brian Ochano appeared for the first accused while the second accused was represented by Mr Godrick Okello.

The case will be heard on March 23 and 25.

CHARGES DENIED

The brothers, who were arrested between November 21 and 22, have denied killing Oloo, 40, in Nyabeda village in Ugunja Sub-County.

The victim's body was found on a blood-soaked bed in the house of Chief Inspector Sabina Kerubo on the morning of November 21, 2019.

Three other people -- the inspector, her daughter and her house-help -- were also arrested and are now State witnesses.

Oloo and Ms Kerubo had lived together as husband and wife for about two years.

The post-mortem report indicated that he died from head and stomach injuries believed to have been caused by blunt force.