Plea taking for a man and his daughter accused of murdering a Nanyuki businessman a month ago has once again been deferred after it became apparent that one of the suspects had not yet undergone a mental assessment.
This was even as the accused, Charles Maina and his 23-year-old daughter, Jane Wanjiku accused the investigators of torture and employing delaying tactics to have them continue suffering in police custody.
Their defense lawyer, Rixon Shikuku, expressed his reservations to Nyeri High Court Judge, Abigail Mshila that investigating officers in the matter were ‘tactfully and maliciously’ delaying plea taking.
This was after the prosecution applied for another date, saying the second accused (Maina) was yet to undergo mental examination to establish his suitability to stand trial alongside his daughter who was examined yesterday.
He said his clients had stayed in custody for over a month without taking plea or being bonded while investigators have been making applications for adjournments on flimsy grounds.
The court on December 6 directed the two to be detained for two weeks to facilitate their mental examination, but on returning to court on 20th, the prosecution said the report was not ready and sort for more time.
A similar order was made last week, January 3, with the report being meant to be tabled yesterday, but the prosecution said it had only managed to secure mental examination report for the first accused (Wanjiku).
The investigators alleged that the examining doctor was not available even as defense lawyer asserted that at no point did the second accused leave custody to be taken for examination.
He further said Wanjiku was tortured while in custody at Nanyuki police station upon arrest and sought for his clients to be shifted to King’ong’o Prison in Nyeri for safe custody. The relocation application was granted.
Justice Mshilla later allowed the plea deferment application and ordered for the first accused to be taken for mental examination before January 14, when they are expected to plead to the charges.
The two were arrested on December 5, last year by Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) detectives at a petrol station in Kirwara, Gatanga Constituency, Murang’a County in connection to the brutal murder of businessman, George Gachibi on December 4.
They were allegedly found with the deceased’s Subaru Legacy car and electronics items stolen from him. Gachibi was the proprietor at Checkers Bar and Restaurant in Nanyuki Town.
His body was found lying in his bedroom in a pool of blood by his employees who had gone to check on him after he failed to report at his business premise on time as usual or even answer to phone calls.
His house main door had been broken into by the assailants who went on to leave it open after completing their mission.
Laikipia criminal investigations officer, Peter Muinde said the deceased had several stab wounds especially on neck area.
The first accused who was a waitress at a hotel in Nanyuki is said to have been in love with the businessman with detectives noting that they were often seen together and she used to frequent his house.
The suspects were arraigned before a Nyeri court since Nanyuki Resident Judge, Waweru Hatari is on vacation.
By Samuel Waititu