NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 12 – Former senior police officer Dickson Munene and his friend Alexander Chepkonga have been sentenced to hang for murdering the son of former Gatundu North MP Patrick Muiruri.
High Court Judge Mohammed Warsame sent the two to the hangman’s noose after finding them guilty of the murder of Dr James Ng’ang’a Muiruri outside a Westlands nightclub in 2009.
Justice Warsame said the two friends had a common intention of harming Ng’ang’a since they pursued him upon leaving the drinking joint.
Ng’ang’a was shot dead on January 24, 2009 after an argument in the bar led to a confrontation which spilled outside the club onto the streets in Westlands.
Justice Warsame had said that the action of the two friends was reckless and the pursuit of the victim was unnecessary and unlawful.
In his defence, Munene had claimed that the late Ng’ang’a had resisted arrest when the fatal shot was used but the judge said his action was unwarranted and that he should have called for reinforcement instead of resorting to use his gun.
The judge agreed with the prosecution that Ng’ang’a might have resisted arrest but the force used by Munene was excessive and could have been avoided.
He said the prosecution had proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the two had a common intention and therefore should be blamed for the death of Ng’ang’a.
The two were first charged in 2009, but the case was handled by two separate judges who were each transferred before conclusion of the trial.
Justice Muga Apondi handed the case over to Lady Justice Jessie Lesiit who, in turn, handed over to Justice Warsame after she was also transferred to another station.
Upon taking over the case, Justice Warsame declared a mistrial and ordered a fresh process after he found that Justice Lesiit had failed to comply with some legal requirement in such trials.
He cited Sections 200 (3) and 201 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code which required her to ask the suspects to choose whether to proceed with the case from where Justice Apondi had left off before he was moved to the Commercial Division in October 2009 or recall witnesses.
The prosecution called 23 witnesses in the case.