A police officer who shot two people on Tuesday this week within Kabarnet town was on Thursday arraigned before a Kabarnet court to face charges of causing grievous harm.
The suspect, police constable, Bazillian Opicho, could not take plea as the investigating officer requested the court to allow them detain the officer for five days to be able to level charges against him.
He told Resident Magistrate (RM), Vienna Amboko that the detention will also allow them to complete taking statements from the complainants and escort the rifle to ballistic experts for forensic examinations.
The charge sheet stated that on April 21,this month, at around 8,30pm at Buru Buru Estate within Kabarnet town in Baringo Central sub county, the suspect while on duty and armed with an anti-riot grenade rifle shot two people, Amos Kiprotich Kemei and Amos Kemboi Kibet, causing them actual grevious harm.
Lawyer Edwin Kipkulei representing the suspect opposed the application by the investigation officer arguing that the reasons advanced for remanding the suspect in police custody for five days is not substantial at all.
Kipkulei said that recording statements from the complainants and escorting the firearm to the ballistics were not sufficient reasons for detaining the suspect beyond the stipulated rule of 24 hours in which a suspect must be arraigned before a court of law.
In her ruling, the magistrate said that the reasons given by the investigation officer were reasonable given that the complainants were shot and injured and it is prudent for the investigation to be conducted thoroughly.
Ms. Amboko also stated that statements from the complainants should be taken to know the extent of injuries so that it forms a basis for the director of public prosecution to reach a decision to charge adding that this calls for a balance of public interest and the victim’s rights.
The RM ordered the suspect to be remanded for four days at Kabarnet police station cells while instructing the officer commanding station (OCS) to ensure that the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic regulations are strictly adhered to. She ordered the matter to be mentioned on April 27.
The police officer is said to have shoot the duo while enforcing curfew rules imposed by the government as a measure to curb the spread of Covid-19 disease.
By Joshua Kibet