1.I have considered the submissions of the parties herein. The prosecution has asked for differment of plea herein for a short period so that the suspects who are not present today may be present when plea is taken. The advocates for the subjects present have on the other hand, urgued for differment of plea taking for at least 2 months. The reasons given are that the subjects intend to pursue a constitutional petition challenging the jurisdiction of this court to hear this matter.
2.In my view, even if the plea herein is taken, the subjects would still be at liberty and reserve their rights to pursue the intended constitutional petitions which if successful could lead to orders that could even declare the proceedings herein a nullity. In that event, I do not see any prejudice that the subjects (defence) would suffer should plea be taken herein.
3.This court has been told that this matter has been in courts for about 5 years. In balancing the constitutional rights of the subjects before the court and those of the victims, it is in my view proper and fair that plea be taken so that this matter may be determined one way or the other. It is in the interest of both sides therefore, that the subjects do take plea herein and to respond to the charges herein as urged by the prosecution and counsel watching brief for the victims.In the circumstances therefore, I order as follows:-i.Plea herein is differed for 7 days to enable the subjects (accused) who are absent today, to be present with their advocates.ii.Summons to issue to accused 4, 10, and 11 to be present and attend court on the date of plea.iii.In the meantime, each of the subjects (accused) present before court may execute personal bonds of Kshs. 200,000/= and undertake to attend court on the date fixed for plea.iv.Matter fixed plea.