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Businessman Chris Obure and Robert Ouko in court on August 24, 2020 over the killing of Kevin Omwenga. /CFM.

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Plea taking in Kevin Omwenga’s murder trial deferred to Wednesday

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 7 – The High Court in Nairobi deferred a scheduled plea taking sitting on Monday by two co-suspects in businessman Kelvin Omwenga’s murder to Wednesday.

Chris Obure, a businessman and a close associate to the deceased, was set to be arraigned on murder charges alongside his aide Robert Ouko.

Obure’s counsel however filed an application seeking to have the charge sheet reviewed to exclude him from murder charges and instead list him as a State witness.

Justice Mumbi Ngugi acceded to the request for a deferral to allow another court to hear and determine Obure’s application.

Obure’s lawyers Danstan Omari and Tom Awit argued Ouko stole his boss’ gun, which was identified as the murder weapon, and was therefore not duly authorized to possess the weapon.

Obure’s move to be exonerated from facing the murder charge relies on surveillance footage showing the co-suspect, his aide Robert Ouko, both at the crime scene and fetching the murder weapon from his office.

The CCTV footage shows Ouko picking a pistol from his boss’ office a few minutes past 6pm on August 21.

The office hosts Meriton Group where Obure is the Chairman, and is located at the Santeu Plaza in Kilimani.

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After picking the gun, Ouko is seen tucking it around his waist and leaving the plaza. He later returns a few minutes to midnight, where he is captured loading the gun before returning it where he picked it.

Omwenga was reported to have been shot on the said night.

In his statement, Ouko told police officers that the shooting was an accident but an autopsy by the government pathologist established that the deceased was shot from an elevated angle. The gun went through the heart and the left lung.

Police confirmed the firearm Ouko allegedly used in the shooting belonged to Obure.

Obure however denied any knowledge of his aide using the gun that shot Omwenga.

Obure’s lawyers argued the “intended prosecution and criminal proceedings against him is malicious, scandalous, unlawful, unconstitutional and abuse of the court process.”

The two accused persons have been in custody since August 22.

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