1.The accused persons herein were jointly charged with the offence of murder contrary to section 203 as read with section 204 of the Penal Code. Particulars of the charge are that the accused persons jointly murdered Purity Wangeci Karinga on May 13, 2022 at Buriria Estate within Kiambu East Sub-County.
2.The charge was read over and explained to the accused persons on June 9, 2022. Each accused person pleaded not guilty and a plea of not guilty was entered for each accused person.
3.On October 6, 2022, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th accused persons were released on a bond of kshs 500,000/= with a surety of a similar amount. The 1st accused was denied bond in view of compelling reasons stated in affidavit filed. The state counsel stated that they were considering having the 2nd, 3rd and 4th accused as state witnesses.
4.On November 11, 2022, counsel for the 1st accused filed an application seeking the 1st accused to be released on reasonable bail terms.
5.On November 28, 2022 when the matter came up for hearing of the application, Mr Kasyoka counsel for the state was not opposed to the 1st accused being released on reasonable bail terms.
6.On December 1, 2022, the state filed an affidavit sworn by CPL Peter Kingawi who is the investigating officer in this matter. He disposes that he is opposed to the 1st accused being granted bail as the main prosecution witnesses are acquaintances of the accused and there is a likelihood of interference with the witnesses.
7.The investigating officer further averred that the 1st accused has no known address of fixed abode and had threatened to kill the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th accused person if they revealed what had transpired and is apprehensive that their lives may be in danger if the accused is released on bond.
8.Article 49 (1) (h) of the Constitution of Kenya provides that every accused person has a right to be released on reasonable bail terms pending trial unless there are compelling reasons.
9.The investigation officer has stated that there is likelihood of accused interfering with the witnesses being acquaintances. He averred that the 1st accused had threatened to harm and kill accused 2, 3 and 4 if they disclosed the incidents of the commission of the offence. Interference of witnesses is one of the compelling reasons to deny an accused bail and in view of the fact that the averments were not controverted, I am inclined to deny 1st accused bond.
10. Final Orders: -1.The 1st accused bail application is hereby declined.2.The 1st accused may renew his application for bail in the future if circumstances change.