Five suspects accused of murdering Chuka University student Maureen Wanjiku Mwihaki have been released on a Sh500,000 bond each or a surety of the same amount. Ms Mwihaki died after attending a graduation party in Kiharu estate in Murang'a County.
The suspects Brenda Wanjiru, Allan Muchangi, Maureen Wanjiru, Joseph Weru and clinical officer Peter Kiarie were released by High Court Judge Grace Ngenye who also ordered Brenda and Maureen, who come from the same village with the dead student, not to set a foot in Kahuhia unless ‘they want to die’.
The judge released the five suspects despite the probation and the Investigating officers requesting to be given two more weeks to file an affidavit opposing their release and to complete the pre-bail report. The judge said the discretion of granting a bail lied on court and that the court was not bound by pre-bail report.
“The discretion to grant a bail lies on court and the court is not bound by pre-bail report, there are no submissions that the accused are flight risks or are likely to interfere with witnesses and therefore there are no compelling reasons to continue detaining them in the remand, I therefore release the suspects with Sh500000 bond or a surety of similar amount,” the judge ruled.
However, the judge directed the matter to be mentioned on October 7 to allow the probation department to complete filing the report.
The probation officer Agnes Wamere had told the court that she was yet to visit the family of Ms Mwihaki to hear their views since the notice given to her by the court was short. She requested for two weeks to complete and compile the report.
“The notice of the three days was short and I have only managed to interview the suspects, I need two weeks to visit the families of the accused and to complete and file the report before the court, she said.
On his part, the investigating officer Sergeant Pius Kasuni told the court that he was yet to file an affidavit opposing the accused’s bail and requested to be given two weeks to do so. The judge accused the prosecution of opposing the bail.
The suspects are accused of killing Maureen Wanjiku Mwihaki on August 14 at Kiharu Estate where they were holding a graduation party.
Two post-mortem results revealed that she died of strangulation. The suspects had indicated that she complained of stomach complications.
Ms Mwihaki will be buried on Saturday at Kahuhia village.
The court had stopped the burial to allow for the repeat of the post-mortem after the defence lawyers successfully applied for the same.