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Kenya: Jacque Maribe, Joseph Irungu to know fate on bail today

Citizen Television Journalist Jacque Maribe and her fiancé Joseph Irungu alias Jowie will on Tuesday morning know whether they will be released on bond.

The two have been in police custody since late September amid investigations into the murder of Monica Kimani, a businesswoman whose body was found in the bath tub in her house in Kilimani, Nairobi County.

MARIBE’S CASE

Justice James Wakiaga set the ruling for Tuesday after hearing submissions from all parties, that included a report from probation officers.

The judge will also decide whether to grant an application by the prosecution for Ms Maribe to keep off TV screens.

According to the prosecution, her appearance on TV, while she faces serious charges might influence or intimidate witnesses.

While arguing for the suspects to be denied bail, Assistant Deputy Director of Public Prosecution, Catherine Mwaniki, added that Ms Maribe will be safe in prison, especially after she expressed fear for her life, claiming a stranger tried to interview her in the police cells when she was arrested on September 29.

Ms Mwaniki said that keeping the accused in custody is the best way to ensure her safety. She also noted that her house in Lang’ata remains an active crime scene.

IRUNGU’S CASE

On Mr Irungu, the prosecutor said he attempted suicide so he is dangerous to himself and the society.

“He needs close supervision,” she said, adding he was seen trying to destroy evidence by burning clothing and that he might interfere with witnesses if released on bond .

She also pointed out that he has not been cooperative with investigators and that the information he has given is not truthful.

Ms Mwaniki further said the accused has been photographed holding a weapon yet he is not a licensed gun holder.

He further said the suspect has been traveling outside Kenya to countries such as Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia and has no fixed home, hence he is a flight risk.

OTHER ARGUMENTS

The two have denied murdering the 28-year-old, an offence they allegedly committed on September 19, at Lamuria Gardens Apartments in Kilimani.

The prosecution on Monday amended the charge sheet to read that they committed the offence with others not before court.

Mr Herman Omiti, who represents the family of Ms Kimani, also opposed their release saying the family lives in fear. The lawyer said one of them received a message from Mr Irungu, a day before she was murdered, asking him where he lived.

“It is not a coincidence that a day before she was murdered, the first accused person sent him a text message seeking to know his home. The reason for the request is not known and the family is yet to know the motive of her killing,” Mr Omiti said.

Defence lawyers Katwa Kigen and Cliff Ombeta said there was no compelling reason to deny Ms Maribe and Mr Irungu bail.

Mr Ombeta said the seriousness of an offence cannot be used as the main reason to deny an accused person bail and that the prosecution was only speculating on the alleged threats as nothing has been tabled to convince the court.

By Daily Nation

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