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Police put to task for contravening court orders

Investigating officer in a case in which a woman and two other men are jointly charged with murdering another woman was Wednesday put to task to explain why he flouted court orders and released one of the accused at the police station.
Inspector John Wahome from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations was at pains to explain why he released the suspect at Muthaiga police station instead of following the law and returning to court to seek a court order for the release of Joseph Kori Karue who had been held on suspicion of murdering his wife Mary Kamangara in January 2019 at Fourways Estate.
The officer sincerely apologized to the court that he made a mistake and that he wished that it shall not happen again in future.
He however explained to the court that he was guided by section 52 of the National Police Act which empowered him to release the suspect whom they intended to use as a prosecution witness during the hearing of the case.
“Your honour, I apologise for the action but it shall never happen again,” inspector Wahome told Kiambu Senior Principal Magistrate Ms. Stella Atambo.
He went on to state that according to the Police document, it was not fair to continue holding a suspect against whom they had not found incriminating evidence in custody and that was why they released him.
For the prosecution, senior state counsel Ms. Christine Mbevi told the court that she also learnt of the release of the suspect from social media and that she was surprised at the turn of events.
The court reminded the officer that he should always seek fresh orders once he produced a suspect in court and that the court orders could not be flouted by officers expected to ensure that they were respected.
Ms. Atambo made these remark during the mention of the case in which Kori, Judy Wangui Mungai and Michael Githae Mathenge who had been remanded in custody.
During the proceedings, the court learnt that as Kori and his girlfriend were being held in custody at the Juja police station on February 7, 2019, a vehicle said to belong to Judy was transferred in her name without the consent of Kori.
He raised the issue through his counsel to which the prosecution said she was not aware. However, the same was documented but counsel for the second defendant told the court that she was in possession of a logbook of the vehicle in her name.
The prosecutor further produced a medical report which indicated that following her complaints about being tortured at the Juja Police station, she had been examined at the Kiambu level 5 hospital and that nothing to corroborate her allegations had been found.
Her application to also have the miscellaneous file closed as the investigating officer said he had completed his investigations was not allowed as Kori was still expected to be reporting to the police station for the next two weeks.
“The file will therefore remain alive as the police have not cleared with the first respondent,” the court heard.
Judy Wangui Mungai and Michael Githae Mathenge were however arraigned before Kiambu High Court Tuesday but did not take plea which was deferred to March 4.
Inspector Waweru took over the investigations from Inspector Cornelius Aruasa of Juja police station after what Wahome explained “the matter had become complex, leading the Juja team to hand over to DCI headquarters”.
The body of Mary Kamangara was recovered in a thicket in Juja after she went missing and the last person to have been spotted in her company is Judy Wangui while the third suspect is the driver of the motor vehicle which is believed to have been used to dispose of the body of the deceased at the scene where it was discovered.
By Lydia Shiroya

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