NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 15 – The prosecution has objected to the release of Jacque Maribe and Joseph Irungu – who are facing trial for the murder of businesswoman Monica Kimani – on grounds that the two could interfere with investigations.
In an affidavit filed at the High Court Monday afternoon, lead investigating officer Maxwell Otieno said there was a high chance that TV journalist Maribe and her fiancé Irungu could jeopardise ongoing investigations into the murder of Kimani.
Otieno said investigators are seeking to establish if at all any money was taken from the house of the slain businesswoman and possibly trace persons who could be in possession of the cash.
“There’s is a likelihood of the accused persons interfering and intimidating the key prosecution witnesses if released on bail and therefore justifiable to subject the accused to pretrial detention noting that some of the key witnesses are the house help and the guards,” the detective stated.
He argued that the suspects, who denied the murder charge when they took plea Monday morning, were capable of instilling fear in key witnesses given the gruesome manner in which Kimani was murdered.
“If the accused persons are released they will disturb public order, undermine public peace or security. Detention may be necessary to preserve public peace and protect the accused persons,” the detective deponed.
A separate court will on Wednesday set a date when Maribe and Irungu will argue for their release on bail.
Lady Justice Jessie Lessit who presided over the Monday morning session during which the two were charged with the murder of Kimani indicated that the matter will be placed before a colleague judge of the Criminal Division of the High Court on October 17.
Maribe was arrested on September 30 after lengthy interrogation.
She was arraigned before Kiambu Principal Magistrate Justus Kituku on October 1 when the prosecution successfully moved the court to allow investigators 11 days to conduct further investigations before preferring charges.
Lady Justice Lessit deferred Maribe’s plea on Tuesday last week to allow her undergo a mental assessment before being charged.
Results of the mental assessment were released Friday paving way for her arraignment in court on Monday when she alongside Irungu pleaded not guilty to Kimani’s murder.
According to the charge sheet, the offence was committed on the night of September 19 at Lamuria Gardens Apartments on Kitale Lane, off Dennis Pritt Road.
Kimani’s body was discovered in a bathtub inside her Kilimani apartment the following day with her throat slit.
Irungu became a person of interest in the murder after police discovered he had visited a number of hospitals seeking medication for a bullet wound.
Irungu had told the police that he was shot by three unknown assailants outside Maribe’s house in Royal Park Estate in Lang’ata where the police later recovered a bullet.
Police arrested Brian Kassaine after a gun that matched the bullet recovered in Maribe’s house was found in his house.
Kiambu Principal Magistrate Justus Kituku on Friday released Kassaine on bail after 10 days in detention with instructions that he reports to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations every Thursday for two months.