Prime suspect in the murder of Moi University student, Ivy Wangechi, wants the judge hearing the matter to recuse himself.
In an application filed in court, Naftali Kinuthia wants Judge Stephen Githinji to disqualify himself from the case over alleged bias.
The murder suspect argued that some of the reasons given by the court when it denied him bail on September 23, were not based on law and were irrelevant.
In his supporting affidavit, Kinuthia said reasons like the court had attracted wide media coverage and the public would be concerned if he was released on bond or bail, were biased in nature.
“The offence I am facing is serious and any acts depicting bias are prejudicial to me. More so, being young and youthful, I may be condemned to life not based on evidence but by the court’s views which were demonstrated when delivering the bond application ruling,” he said.
But while denying him bail, justice Githinji noted that circumstances that had led to denial of bail in the first place had not changed.
After receiving Kinuthia’s application, the court declined to further adjourn the matter on grounds that the defense had filed it late to frustrate the case.
Justice Githinji ordered that the matter be heard at a later date.
Barely a month ago, Chief Justice Martha Koome wrote to justice Githinji asking him to give the case priority before leaving for his new work station in Malindi on October 1.
She did, however, note that the presiding judge would be allowed to travel to Eldoret if the matter will not have been concluded by the said date.
Prior to her directive, lawyer Kiroko Ndegwa, representing Ivy’s family, had written to the CJ complaining of the delay.
The hearing had failed to kick off five times before July this year.
“The hearing of the matter had been delayed for two years at the instance of the defense side. The hearing finally commenced on July 8, 202. A further hearing was conducted on July 22, 2021 with eight key witnesses testifying. The case is slated for further hearing on December 15,” said Mr Ndegwa.
He also pleaded with the CJ to allow justice Githinji hear the matter to conclusion to avoid further delays.
“The new judge will not have had the opportunity of interacting with the eight witnesses who have so far testified, thus the possibility of requesting for commencement of a fresh trial leading to further delay of the matter,” he added.
Ivy was killed in 2019 outside the Moi Referral Hospital.