, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 14 – Six suspects held by police in connection with former Juja MP George Thuo’s death have formally been charged with murder.
The six who appeared before Justice Roseline Korir on Tuesday pleaded, “not true,” to the charge and will return to court on February 10 when their application to be released on bail will be heard.
They have been in police custody since January 3 as Justice David Majanja granted the prosecution’s request for their extended detention to allow for investigations.
The case against Paul Wainaina Boiyo alias Sheki, Christopher Lumbazio alias Lumba, Andrew Karanja Wainaina, Samuel Kuria Ngugi alias Visi, Esther Ndinda Mulinge and Ruth Watahi Irungu alias Atlanta will be heard on October 27.
The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has revealed it will call 53 witnesses to testify against the accused.
The accused include the proprietor of Porkies Gardens Restaurant in Thika town where Thuo collapsed on November 17, 2013 from what has now been determined to be acute haemorrhagic gastroenteritis caused by chemical poisoning.
The hostess who served him, the club DJ, a gentleman he was drinking with and a lady who bought him a drink are also in the dock for murder.
Their lawyer, Cliff Ombetta, however maintains that his clients had no motive for killing Thuo and accused the police of bowing to pressure to charge someone for appearances sake.
“Why would they want to get rid of a loyal patron? What would be the wisdom in that?” he posed to Capital FM News.
After he collapsed on November 17, 2013, Thuo was taken to a hospital in Thika town for emergency treatment before being transferred to the Aga Khan Hospital but he was dead on arrival.
Police believe one of the beers he consumed at Porkies was laced with a pesticide but Ombeta contends that his death could have been caused by an adverse reaction between his high blood pressure medication and alcohol.