A court in Meru has allowed officers to hold a suspect linked to the murder of a magistrate’s daughter for 10 more days.
This comes as Githongo Law courts Senior Magistrate Carol Kemei denied that the suspect, Mr Benson Kimathi, a former prison warden, is the father of her daughter.
A second suspect, Francis Otudo, is also in police custody in connection with the murder.
“The father of my daughter is John Kapolon. I wish the public would let us mourn in peace,” Ms Kemei said. The court granted permission to hold the suspect despite the defence lawyer Elias Mutuma applying that his client be released on reasonable bond terms.
Mr Mutuma told the court that the state had denied the suspect his rights since they have never produced him in court.
“His rights were violated from the very beginning because it is the first time the State has produced him in court since he was arrested on September 8. Our constitution is very clear that a person should be produced in court within 24 hours," the lawyer told the court.
Today was the third time the prosecution was seeking application to continue holding Kimathi. But the prosecution, led by Mr Harrison Kiarie, countered that the suspect knew why he was in court as he was interrogated.
“Being held at the Meru police station was done rightfully. He was held pursuant to court orders. There are no rights that have been breached at all,” Mr Kiarie said.
Meru Chief Magistrate Hannah Ndung'u said the suspect cannot be released because the matter is of public interest.
“The autopsy, which is about to be conducted, is part of the investigations. Also for the suspects and victim’s justice to be found, I allow the investigating officers to conclude their investigations,” Ms Ndung'u said.
The autopsy was being conducted in Meru on Thursday with results expected later. The matter will be mentioned on October 2, 2018.
Meanwhile, friends and family of the slain girl held a requiem mass at St Joseph cathedral in Meru. Speaking at the event, Fr David Kaberia condemned the killing and called for speedy investigations into the matter.
Consolata Primary School Class Four pupils mourned Maribel as a very jovial pupil who always put smile on their faces.
“We have not only lost a capable pupil but also a very generous friend. She was always there for us all. We know she is in a good place,” her classmates said in a tribute.
Meru presiding judge Alfred Mabeya said no amount of intimidation, threats and terrorism will separate judicial officers from their oath.
"We will continue doing our work without fear or favour," Justice Mabeya, who mourned Maribel as a loving and God fearing girl, said. Maribel will be buried on Saturday in Turbo, Uasin Gishu.