A lawyer stunned a packed courtroom in Malindi on Tuesday when he remarked that rape was a “normal occurrence’’ in Kilifi County and should, therefore, not be used to deny his client bail.
Mr Stephen Obaga Muriuki was opposing an application to detain his client accused of defiling a 15-year-old Standard Eight pupil.
Mr Alex Otieno Onyango, a Malindi businessman, is said to have committed the offence at Majengo Mapya on March 29.
“Defilement is a normal occurrence in this jurisdiction and I don’t see any compelling reason to detain him,’’ the lawyer told the court after prosecutor Duncan Nyongesa made an application for Mr Onyango to be remanded at the Malindi Police Station for 14 days to allow completion of investigations.
Mr Muriuki said Mr Onyango’s vehicle worth Sh5 million that was impounded provided enough security and detaining him was “an abuse of this court”.
The prosecutor told Senior Resident Magistrate Yusuf Shikanda that he was shocked that the lawyer could describe rape as normal.
“The mere fact that his vehicle is being held should not stop the court from detaining him for the prosecution to complete investigations,’’ said Mr Nyongesa.
Relying on an affidavit by police officer Kamande Kinuthia, the prosecutor said there was need for more time due to the nature of investigations that would require forensic analysis of exhibits.
Mr Nyongesa said the prosecution needed to conduct an HIV test on both the victim and the suspect as well as examine samples from the vehicle, which is being held as an exhibit.
He further argued that the suspect was likely to intimidate witnesses if released on bond and could disappear as he did soon after committing the offence.
Mr Muriuki told the court that his client turned up at the Malindi DCIO’s office on Monday evening.
The prosecution had filed an affidavit in the High Court seeking a warrant of arrest against the businessman.
An identification parade was held at the police station on Monday. The prosecution said the victim positively identified the man even after he had shaved the dreadlocks he had to avoid being recognised.
Mr Onyango is said to have forced the minor into his car that has tinted windows and defiled her.
The prosecution said the man abandoned the girl after buying her anti-pregnancy pills from a pharmacy. He then sped off and disappeared, only to reappear at the Malindi police boss’ office on Monday.
The court will make a ruling on the bail application on Wednesday.