Cholmondeley: I rest my case, says DPP

December 18, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI Kenya, Dec 18 – The State on Wednesday summed up its case against Naivasha rancher Tom Cholmondeley, urging the High Court to convict him for the murder of stonemason Robert Njoya.

Summing up submissions in the case that took two years, Senior State Counsel Justus Ondari said Mr Cholmondeley had failed to produce any evidence to contradict the prosecution’s.

The rancher is on a murder trial for allegedly shooting and killing Mr Njoya in his expansive Soysambu Ranch in May 2006. He has pleaded innocent to the charge.

Presiding Judge Muga Apondi adjourned the case to February 2, 2009, when Mr Cholmondeley’s lawyer Fred Ojiambo is expected to respond to the State’s claims.

This leaves the rancher, with no choice but to celebrate a third Christmas in remand custody.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko called 38 witnesses in the case whereas the defence called seven.

Mr Tobiko has maintained that Mr Cholmondeley had a motive and opportunity to shoot the stonemason.

He submitted last week that there was evidence that Mr Cholmondeley shot Mr Njoya, saying the accused had indicated in his previous testimony that he mistakenly shot a man.

The prosecution insisted that rally driver Carl Tundo, who Mr Cholmondeley has accused for the shooting, had neither motive nor opportunity to do so.

The DPP also said that 62 exhibits tabled in court by the prosecution indicated the rancher’s involvement in the death.

Similarly, he brought to the attention of the court that during his defence, the accused admitted having a gun and firing it during the incident.

Mr Tobiko also dismissed claims that Mr Cholmondeley suffered stress disorders arguing that the issue was never raised by the accused person himself during trial, despite his lawyer’s attempt to advance it.

Mr Cholmondeley was put on self defence in August in which he denied having shot the stonemason and has been in custody since his arrest.


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