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Family wants Cholmondeley charged

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 3 – The Chief Justice Evan Gicheru has now appointed two judges to hear a petition by the family of slain Kenya Wildlife Service officer Samson ole Sisina who was killed on the expansive Sosyambu ranch owned by Tom Cholmondeley.

The family wants the High Court to quash termination of the case by the Attorney General through the then Director of Public Prosecution Philip Murgor, and a subsequent inquest into the matter.

Their lawyer Katwa Kigen on Wednesday said the family wants Mr Cholmondeley charged with the murder of ole Sisina.

“What the family has been pushing for is a murder charge against Mr Cholmondeley. Not the inquest as proposed and pushed for by the Attorney General.  We hope this time the matter will move on expeditiously,” Mr Kigen said.

He said the case which was filed in May 2005 was delayed following the transfers of two judges who were previously handling the matter. The new set of judges will hear the case on March 17. “This case was previously handled by Justice Murugi Mugo and John Osiemo but the two judges were transferred before they could hear the case to its conclusion,” Mr Kigen added.

Mr Cholmondeley was found guilty of manslaughter in another case involving the killing of stonemason Robert Njoya and was sent to jail for eight months.  He was freed in October last year after serving five months.  At the time of his conviction for the second shooting, the rancher had already spent close to three years in custody at Kamiti Maximum Prison.

Mr Cholmondeley had admitted shooting ole Sisina but claimed that he did so in self defence saying the undercover KWS ranger had shot at him.

The Attorney General while terminating the ole Sisina case said there was no evidence to sustain the murder charge and accused police officers in the Rift Valley of doing a shoddy job during the investigation.

If the High Court agrees with the family, Mr Cholmondeley could face a fresh murder charge, but if it turns down the application, then the inquest will proceed.  An inquest will collect evidence and recommend prosecution or closure of the case.

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