A student suspected of starting a fire that led to the death of nine of her colleagues at the Moi Girls Secondary School in Nairobi was Wednesday charged at the Milimani Law Courts.
Presiding Judge Luka Kimaru however directed that the proceedings be held in-camera in the interest of the minor’s right to privacy in accordance with Section 186 (g) of the Children Act. The minor however denied charges levelled against her with family lawyer Stanley Kang’ahi making an application for her release on bail pending the hearing and determination of the case.
Following the application, the judge directed the accused to appear before the court on Friday when the he will make a determination whether or not a cash bail of Sh200,000 will be allowed.
On Wednesday last week, the prosecution had asked for 10 days to consolidate evidence before preferring charges against the 14-year-old girl. The children’s court in which she was first produced at the time granting the State a week to conclude investigations.
Her arraignment in court came a day after the nine victims of the arson attack were positively identified following DNA tests conducted on their remains at the University of Nairobi’s Chiromo Mortuary.
“Indeed, all results are out today and the procedure here is that we are taking them (parents and relatives) through psychosocial support and counselling and thereafter each family will be allowed to see their loved ones as each name has been matched with a body after the DNA test and all have been identified,” National Management Disaster Unit Deputy Director Pius Masai stated on Tuesday.
The inferno at a dormitory also left 16 students hospitalized with varying levels of burns.
An affidavit produced at the Children’s Court on Wednesday last week by the Milimani DCIO Phylis Kanina suggested that the minor, who has been codenamed T.W.G in court papers, was arrested on Tuesday at her parent’s home in possession of a Tecno mobile phone which was at the centre of investigations by the police.
Among leads detectives were pursuing were chats contained in the minor’s WhatsApp messaging application which police sources said offered useful information that could help the prosecution secure a conviction. According to Kanina’s affidavit, a laptop was also recovered at the home, investigative officers believed to have mined as much information as they could to help solidify the case.
The family lawyer assured the court of the accused person’s safety in the custody of her mother also stating that she will continue to cooperate with the court during her trial.
This article was first published on Capital News.