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State rests case against Delamere kin

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 15 – The State maintains that the late Baron Delamere’s grandson, Tom Gilbert Cholmondeley ‘had a motive and an opportunity’ to shoot a stonemason on his expansive Soysambu Ranch in Naivasha two years ago.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko on Monday told trial Judge Muga Apondi that there was evidence that Mr Cholmondeley shot stonemason Robert Njoya, saying the defendant had indicated in his previous testimony that he ‘mistakenly shot a man’.

“From the evidence as adduced by the prosecution, an irresistible conclusion would be drawn that the accused (Mr Cholmondeley) and no other person shot the deceased (Njoya),” Mr Tobiko said.

Mr Tobiko however said that rally driver Carl Tundo, who Cholmondeley has accused of shooting Mr Njoya, had neither motive nor opportunity to do so.

The DPP further argued that the rancher ‘interfered’ with the scene of the incident under the guise of protecting the remains of Mr Njoya’s dogs and an impala that had allegedly been killed by poachers.

“There is evidence that after the injured person on the scene was  put into the car, the accused got out and went back to the scene, grabbed two carcases of dogs and a headless impala, dragged them to an open space and heaped them together,” Mr Tobiko said in court.

He added that the explanation offered by Mr Cholmondeley regarding the interference with the scene could not hold.

The DPP told the court that it had not been disputed the rancher had carried a loaded rifle and fired four shots towards certain targets.

He said the accused was also aware that there were people within the vicinity when he fired the shots.

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Mr Tobiko also told the court that Mr Tundo, who testified as the fifth prosecution witness, saw him (Mr Cholmondeley) on a knee position aiming and firing at something.

He continued: “Soon after discovering the injured person, Mr Cholmondeley called out Mr Tundo, telling him to bring a car as he had shot a man by mistake.”

He is also said to have called numerous people telling them that he had mistakenly shot a man.

The DPP also confirmed to the court that the rifle, used by Mr Cholmondeley was the only one that was recovered by police and ballistic reports indicated that the bullet which killed the stonemason came from it.

“Taken in totality, these items of evidence prove beyond reasonable doubt that it was the accused and no one else who shot the deceased,” Mr Tobiko insisted.

Mr Cholmondeley has been in custody for allegedly murdering the stonemason who he reportedly suspected to be a poacher on May 10, 2006 but he has pleaded innocent.

Hearing continues.


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