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High Court frees man in murder case over poor investigation

Friday May 17 2019
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Mr Martin Mwangi when he appeared before the High Court in Nyeri on May 17, 2019. PHOTO | JOSEPH WANGUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By JOSEPH WANGUI

A man, who surrendered to police and confessed strangling his cousin to death, has been released by the High Court in Nyeri following a finding that police bungled the investigation.

Justice Teresiah Matheka on Friday found that Mr Martin Mwangi should not have been arraigned in court since there was no any evidence linking him to the murder despite the confession.

Mr Mwangi was accused of killing James Mwangi on the night of August 22, 2017 in Endarasha village, Nyeri by strangling him with a belt. The deceased’s body was later found outside the family’s home about 100 metres away from the gate.

ARREST

While reading her judgement Friday, Justice Matheka said the accused was arrested after he surrendered to police and confessed to a Chief Inspector Mwakisha of committing the offence.

He also had the deceased’s mobile phone which he handed to the officers at Nyeri Central Police Station. Mr Mwangi was arrested and charged with murder.

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“But Mr Mwakisha did not bring the confession to court, he failed to testify or provide his statement in regard to the case. This is a case where police make arrest and bring to court saying let the court deal with it,” stated Justice Matheka.

She also found after the accused was taken for psychiatric evaluation before answering to the murder charge, Dr Richu Mwenda found he was not mentally fit as he was suffering from illusions.

Regarding the mobile phone seized from the accused, the judge said police did not bother to investigate the gadget such as who owned it, when was it used last by the deceased and who was the registered owner of the sim card in it.

“The only evidence is that the accused provided the mobile phone and alleged it belonged to the deceased. Police never investigated if the deceased ever used it,” she noted. She found the accused was not guilty of the murder charge and set him at liberty.

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