Missing Belgian: Lawyer Hari Gakinya charged with murder

Wednesday March 18 2020
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Nakuru-based lawyer John Hari Gakinya in court on March 11, 2020. PHOTO | RICHARD MUNGUTI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By RICHARD MUNGUTI
By JOSEPH OPENDA

Nakuru-based lawyer Hari Gakinya has been charged with the murder of Belgian woman Dysseleer Mireille Lesoipa.

Mr Gakinya Wednesday denied that he murdered Ms Lesoipa between December 11, 2018 and July 5, 2019 at an unknown place within Kenya.

Mr Gakinya, who is represented by lawyer Karathe Wandugi, indicated that he will be applying to be released on bond.

"I will be applying to have the accused to be admitted to bail," said Mr Wandugi.

State prosecutor Wangui Gichuhi told Justice Daniel Ogembo that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) will be opposing the move.

She applied to have the defence compelled to file a formal application so that the State can respond.

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Mr Wandugi said he will file the application today.

The hearing for bail was set for March 16.

Justice Ogembo fixed the case for hearing on October 5 and 6, 2020.

Meanwhile, the other suspect -- Lucy Waithera Njuguna -- who is facing a similar charge in the case, will be taken for mental assessment at Mathari Hospital.

She will appear before court on Thursday to plead to the charge.

Lawyer Cliff Ombeta, for Ms Waithera, protested the delay in prison authorities taking her for the tests.

Mr Ombeta said it has been 45 days since her arrest and she is yet to be evaluated.

"It has taken two days to have Gakinya assessed yet my client has been held in custody for many days without action," he argued.

Justice Ogembo heard that there were many patients at the hospital when she was taken.

MYSTERY

Ms Lesoipa, who was married to a Samburu dancer before they separated in 2003, went missing from her home in Milimani, Nakuru County, around June last year.

Police investigations led to the arrest of her close friend Ms Waithera, whom detectives say hired the services of Mr Gakiya to file a succession case before the High Court in Nakuru.

In the case, Mr Gakinya claimed Ms Lesoipa had died from HIV/Aids complications, leaving behind a will in which she had named him the executor of her property worth over Sh100 million.

He sought to be issued with grants of probate to execute Ms Merielle’s will.

But detectives from the Homicide Investigations Unit of the DCI established that the documents used to file the court case were unauthentic.