The prosecution has opposed the release of a police officer accused of shooting and killing 13-year-old Yassin Moyo while implementing curfew orders in Nairobi’s Huruma area in March this year.
Duncan Ndiema was charged with the murder of the minor yesterday. He pleaded not guilty and was detained at Capitol Hill Police Station awaiting his bail ruling today.
The High Court had earlier deferred his plea taking after his lawyer told the court that the officer had been admitted to the Mbagathi Hospital pending the results of a coronavirus test.
But appearing in court on Wednesday, Benard Otieno, an investigator with the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), said that the officer lied to the court that he visited Mbagathi Hospital after developing Covid-19 like symptoms.
The officer told the court that the accused never visited the hospital but was in Uthiru and Ndumbuini areas, 15 kilometres from the said hospital.
The court heard that the hospital also denied admitting the officer as claimed.
“I as the investigating officer having received the orders from the court proceeded to Mbagathi and received information from the management of the hospital that they had not treated the accused that day as alleged,” reads the application.
The investigator argued that the suspect should be denied bail for being reluctant to adhere to court mechanisms.
IPOA further told the court that the deceased’s family members had received threats believed to be from agents and proxies of the accused hence requested the court to deny him bail on grounds that if released there is a likelihood of him intimidating witnesses in the case.
“If accused person is released on bail his release will disturb public order or undermine public peace or security and thus pre-trial detention will be necessary to preserve public order,” says IPOA.
However. Ndiema’s lawyer argued that the accused has a constitutional right to a fair trial which entails the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The lawyer said that the suspect had so far cooperated with the police and there is no compelling reason to deny him bail.
“Detention of an accused person while there is no compelling reason is a violation of the aforesaid right. The detention of the Accused person/applicant while there is no compelling reason shall be an infringement of his constitutional rights,” reads his application.