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Kenya: Judge’s surprise harsh description of Jowie in bail case as Maribe freed

They were brought in separately and both wore a confident smile hoping that things would go their way.

But as Justice James Wakiaga read the ruling, it dawned on Joseph Kuria Irungu, alias Jowie, that he would be spending the next several months in remand while his fiancée Jacque Wanjiru Maribe would be getting back her freedom, at least for now.

COMPELLING

A relative of Jowie interrupted the hush courtroom with a loud cry, following the decision while Ms Maribe’s relatives and friends held on hoping for the best.

They breathed a sigh of relief when the judge said the prosecution had failed to table compelling reasons to deny her the freedom.

On Mr Irungu, Justice Wakiaga said the man who has been described as a male version of a “slay queen with no known source of income and a woman eater for lack of a better terminology” who lived off Ms Maribe, did not have a fixed home.

ACCOMODATION

The judge said evidence was that he has travelled extensively to the Middle East and was likely to jump bail when released.

The judge noted he was living in Maribe’s house in Lang’ata, drove her vehicle and although her relatives had promised to find him accommodation, no evidence had been tabled in court to support the claims.

Justice Wakiaga said that a mere fact that he will surrender his passport to the court and plans to start a security firm to earn a living was not enough guarantee.

LOVES GUNS

The judge also said that Mr Irungu was also known to the family of slain businesswoman Monica Kimani and there were claims that it was Ms Kimani’s brother who introduced her to Mr Irungu.

He added that the he was portrayed as man who loves guns and has undergone specialised military training.

Quoting other decisions, the judge said some witnesses have opted out of cases in order to keep their lives than testify in some cases fearing to be harmed.

COMPROMISE

And if that was the case, it was better to deny the accused person bail or bond than allow potential witnesses to be threatened and compromise justice.

The judge noted that Mr Irungu was nursing a gunshot wound and although he claims to have been shot, the prosecution’s version was that he wanted to commit suicide.

In that case, the judge said, “he is a man in need of close supervision and which can only be achieved in a protective custody.”

FLIGHT RISK

The judge said although he needs specialised treatment and which might not be offered in prison, the court can remedy the situation by ordering that he be accorded the said treatment.

He then ordered that he be taken for treatment and his parents or a doctor of his choice can join.

On Ms Maribe, the judge said that there was no indication that she has interfered or attempted to interfere with potential witnesses and she was not a flight risk.

PROSECUTION

He said as opposed to the argument by Assistant Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Catherine Mwaniki that her child can be well taken care by her parents, the child needed her mother and her strong social support would not allow her abscond court.

He said the only thing the court can do is to restrain her movements because she was still presumed innocent.

INFLUENTIAL

The judge ordered her not to read news on TV because according to the prosecution, she was an influential person who can intimidate or influence potential witnesses.

“I find and hold that the prosecution has not placed before this court compelling reasons to deny her bail and I hereby order that she be released on bail pending trial,” Justice Wakiaga said.

The judge ordered that she deposits bond of Sh2 million and one surety of similar amount or alternatively, deposit a cash bail of Sh1 million with three sureties of similar amount.

JURISDICTION

The court ordered that she should not participate in any interviews relating to the case, interview potential witnesses and not to leave the jurisdiction of the court.

He a lso ordered that she accompanies the investigation officers to her house, because it was still a crime scene as per the prosecution- for them to take an inventory or gather any evidence they had not gathered and then allow her to use it afterwards.

The two have denied murdering Ms Kimani on September 19, at her house in Kilimani, Nairobi.The hearing is set for June 18.

By Daily Nation

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