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Suspect in murder case of Belgian woman ordered to undergo mental test

Thursday February 27 2020

Lucy Waithera Njuguna

Lucy Waithera Njuguna in a Nairobi court on February 27, 2020. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JOSEPH WANGUI
By JOSEPH WANGUI
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The High Court in Nairobi has ordered a suspect linked to the disappearance and murder of a wealthy Belgian national be taken for mental evaluation before pleading to a murder charge.

Ms Lucy Waithera Njuguna will undergo the mental assessments to determine their fitness to stand murder trial at the Mathari mental hospital in Nairobi.

Ms Njuguna is accused of killing Ms Dysseleer Mireille Lesoipa alias Wa Samburu between December 11, 2018 and July 15, 2019 jointly with others at an unknown place.

When police produced Ms Njuguna before Justice Daniel Ogembo at the Milimani Law Courts on Thursday, the prosecution said she was not ready to answer the murder charge as she was yet to undergo the mandatory psychiatric test.

The prosecution asked court to allow police detain Ms Njuguna at the Langata Women's Prison pending the mental assessment and completion of investigations into the murder.

But Ms Njuguna opposed the application with her lawyer Cliff Ombeta questioning why the prosecution was not ready with the commencement of the trial.

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The lawyer said Ms Njuguna has been in police custody for the last 27 days.

Lawyer Ombeta said it was unlikely the mental assessment will be completed soon due to the administrative procedures involved within the prison authorities.

Mr Oliver Nabonwe, a homicide detective investigating the case, in an affidavit indicated that Ms Njuguna was arrested on February 1, 2020 at her Milimani residence in Nakuru.

The affidavit of the investigator indicates that during the arrest Ms Njuguna was found with a copy of Ms Lesoipa’s death certificate and her assorted bank cards.

Ms Njuguna was also found in possession of Ms Lesoipa’s ATM cards, original passport with immigration stamps indicating that she had travelled to India on December 12, 2018 and came to Kenya on June 30, 2019.

She is said to have been a close friend to Ms Lesoipa prior to her disappearance, Ms Njunguna is suspected to have plotted her murder, faked a death certificate and initiated a succession process of Ms Lesoipa’s Sh100 million estate.

The suspect allegedly forged a death certificate and claimed that Ms Lesoipa died of HIV/Aids. The fake death certificate was used in filing of estate succession proceedings at the High Court in Nakuru.

Ms Lesoipa lived in Nakuru before disappearing from her residence in Blankets estate, Mwariki area.

She shot to media headlines after falling in love with a Samburu man and they solemnized their marriage in 1995. The union later collapsed and the couple divorced in 2004.

Following the divorce the two later engaged in court battles involving ownership of a property situated in Maralal.

Ms Njuguna will answer to the murder charge on March 4.