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Petition challenging magistrate’s prosecution over mishandled heroin exhibits set for inter partes hearing

Mombasa High Court Judge, Reuben Nyakundi (pictured), who heard the petition filed on Monday, said Kagoni’s case met the threshold required to  grant conservatory orders/FILE – CFM

MOMBASA, Kenya, Sep 12 – A case in which Mombasa Magistrate Edgar Kagoni has filed a petition to stop his prosecution, is coming for inter-parties hearing on Thursday.

A High Court sitting in Mombasa on Monday ordered the immediate release of Kagoni, who was arrested on Saturday over allegations of mishandling Sh30 million heroin exhibits.

The judge ordered Kagoni, who was being held at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, to be released on Sh20,000 cash bail or a Sh100,000 surety bond.

Kagoni, through lawyer Nelson Havi and others, had filed a petition stopping his prosecution, saying the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) want to embarrass and intimidate him.

Mombasa High Court Judge, Reuben Nyakundi, who heard the petition, said Kagoni’s case met the threshold required to  grant conservatory orders.

“In my view, this petition has met the threshold of conservatory orders against the respondents, it agents, its employees, in processing, preferring any criminal charge against the petitioner, pending inter parties hearing of this matter, which I have set at very high priorities that inter-parties must be heard of 12 of September 2019,” said Nyakundi.

He said the Kagoni must be released wherever he is within the borders of the country.

“I have also granted the petitioner bail, wherever he is within the borders of this country to be released on bond of Sh100,000 with the surety of the same amount. I have issued an alternative that the petitioner can deposit is a cash bail of Sh20,000,” he said.

Kagoni is accused of mishandling 10 kilograms of Heroin and Sh600,000 recovered from a drug trafficker.

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In the matter, criminal case 468 of 2018, which was concluded in June last year, Kagoni had convicted Hussein Massoud Eid to 30 years in jail.

However, he asked the prosecution to return the Sh600,000 found on the suspect.

Mombasa Chief Magistrate Evans Makori, wrote to the DCI On August 8, 2018, to probe the reports that the heroin exhibit and the Sh600,000 had gone missing from the court store between June 28 and July 26.

The DCI’s investigation found Kagoni and three other court officers should be held responsible for the disappearance of the drugs and the money.

The trio are; Abdalla Awadh Abubakar, who is an executive assistant at the Mombasa Law Courts, Lawrence Thoya Bayan, a support staff at the court and Onesmus Momanyi, a court assistant who was initially based in Mombasa, but has since been transferred to Ruiru law courts.

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