The lawyer representing a Chinese man accused of killing a tourist in Maasai Mara Game Reserve in 2016 has withdrawn from the case citing disagreement with his client.
Lawyer Martin Ole Kamwaro told Narok High Court Judge Justus Bwonwong’a that he and his client Li Chanqoing had disagreed on a number of issues that made him unable to proceed with his case as a lawyer.
The judge then ruled that the accused has until the next hearing on November 11 and 12 to find another lawyer or ask the court to direct that the State to provide him with an advocate.
Li Chanqoing, 45 years, is accused that on August 8, 2016 at San Africa Hotels Keekorok Lodge in Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Narok West Sub County he murdered Luo Jinli also 45.
He faced a second count of causing grievous harm to the deceased’s husband Dong Yi, 47 at the time of the attack.
The accused had pleaded not guilty to the charges before the High Court in Naivasha in 2016 before the case was transferred to Narok. He was released on a Sh.1 million bond with a surety of the same amount. He was also been ordered to hand over his passport to the court.
During that time, the accused was being represented by Cliff Ombeta who for undisclosed reasons handed him over to Kamwaro to be his defense lawyer.
According to the husband’s testimony in court, the accused had argued with his wife over reserved seats at the hotel while using abusive language. The husband had come forward in defense of his wife and it was during the confrontation that the accused got violent and attacked the couple with a knife stabbing both of them.
The deceased Liu Jinli died while undergoing treatment while her husband survived the attack.
The hotel workers and managers also gave a similar testimony telling the court the accused had started an argument over the seats the deceased was seating at while waiting for his husband and 14 year old son to arrive. He claimed to have reserved the seat ahead of the deceased and wanted the woman to move elsewhere.
Previously, the court had been facing challenges hearing the case due to lack of a Chinese interpreters to translate the proceedings in Mandarin. Some of the witnesses also have returned to China and hence proceedings have had to be done through live video streaming.
By Mabel Keya-Shikuku and Joseph Kariuki