The prosecution today objected to the recall of a prosecution witness who testified more than a year ago in a case which the widow of the principal of Kiru Boys Secondary School is charged with his murder.
For the ODPP, Ms. Catherine Mwaniki opposed the recall of the 1st born daughter of the couple to be recalled as they had closed their case on June 14,2019.The prosecution closed their case on 8/November 2019 after the final witness testified on 4th May 2019.
She opposed the attempt to recall her saying on the close of her evidence, the witness had been cross examined by the accused’ defence lawyer Mr. Francis Njanja and that the court had established a prima facie case against her upon which she was put on her defence.
` The defence however pleaded with the court to allow the recall on the grounds that new information that had not been put before court had arisen and that it was vital as it would assist in her defence.
In his ruling after a health break, Justice Professor Joel Ngugi ruled that the defence could not be allowed to recall the witness who had already testified years back even after prosecution closed thier case.
Jane Muthoni Mucheru is facing murder that on 6/11/2016, she unlawfully murdered Solomon Mwangi contrary to Section 203 as read with 204 of the penal code.
She pleaded not guilty and has remained in custody at the Langata Women Prison after the proscution successfully opposed her to be released on bond on grounds that she was a flight risk and would also interfere with the evidence.Their accomplice who was also said to have assisted in the execution of the deceased identified as Nelson Njiru also escaped and has never been apprehended 4 years later.
Her 2 children testified as prosecution witnesses at the beginning of the hearing of the case and the witness whom the prosecution opposed being recalled June Muthoni who was currently at the University of Nairobi told the court that she had voluntarily testified in court and that nobody had threatened her and her siblings.
She is jointly charged with Isaac N’gan’ga Wambui alias Gikuyu and Joseph Nganga alias Karis who is already serving 7 years after he entered a plea bargain with the Prosecution and became a prosecution witness.
Following the plea bargain, he explained to the court how he, 2nd accused and another still at large were hired to kill the accused’s husband and how they tied him on a tree at Karakuta forest on Juja farm on the day they executed the murder.
The accused today summed up her defence which she was sworn and vehemently denied that she murdered her husband.
She reiterated before court that her husband was not murdered on 6th November 2016 but on 8th November since the abductors who murdered him called her in the presence of DCI officers of Murang’a and that she surrendered the number they used to call her to the officers for investigations.
She therefore contend that the abductors executed their heinous act when she handed over their numbers and security officers began tracking them.
She also insisted that the data from Safaricom and Airtel which had been produced in court had been manipulated to pin her down so that she appears “ to be the murderer of her husband whom she lived with harmoniously. “We never had any marital problems with my husband”she told the court.
The court also heard another defence witness, Esther Wambui Mucheru, a sister to the 1st accused who said she had known her brother-in-law and that while they were looking him after he went missing on 6th November 2016, someone she referred to as abductors called her sister in her presence and other people.She continued to tell the court that the deceased pleaded with his wife to co-operate with them so that they don’t harm him and that the phone was on speaker when he was pleading.
The case will continue virtually on December 7th 2020 when the defence will confirm if prosecution will have filed their submissions.They will then be given a date for Judgement.
Meanwhile, the duo will continue to be held at langata women prison and Kamiti prison respectively until the time for their judgement.
Mr.Wokabi Mathengen is watching brief for the family of the deceased .
By Lydia Shiloya