The two drivers and three conductors were charged for “failing to prevent a felony, namely murder, by failing to search passengers whereby the said bus was blown off by an unknown passenger who had an IED.”
James Munene and Anthony Mutua, the driver and conductor respectively of the Mwiki bound bus which blew up at the Roysambu roundabout were the first to be charged and both pleaded not true to the charge.
Robert Gakuru, Geoffrey Gakunyi and Joshua Wambugu who were the driver and conductors respectively of the Githurai-bound bus in which another explosion occurred near the Homeland Inn, also denied the charge.
Chief Magistrate Emily Ominde released the five on personal bonds of Sh5 million each and two sureties of similar amounts while scheduling the mention of their cases for May 20 and the hearings for July 17 and 22 for the Roysambu and Homeland explosions respectively.
“Copies of the charge sheet, witness statements and documentary evidence if any is to be made available to the defence at their own cost,” she added.
Mbiyu Kamau who acted on behalf of all five accused had asked the court to grant them lenient bond as his clients were not persons of means and were also victims of Sunday’s twin blasts.
“Their lives too were in danger,” he told the court.
Three people were killed and 50 others injured in the blasts that took place starting at 5.20 pm on Sunday evening when a bus ferrying passengers to Githurai exploded near the Homeland Inn.
It was followed by a second Mwiki bound bus which exploded at the Roysambu round about near Thika Road Mall.
Police believe the explosions were caused by IEDs carried onto the buses by attackers posing as passengers.
The attacks were preceded by twin blasts in Mombasa that left three dead after IEDs went off outside the Chania Bus booking office.