What you need to know:
- The accused told the court that he was worried about his safety and requested to be transferred from Kiamaciri Police Station.
- The magistrate granted the application and directed that the accused be locked up at Sagana Police Station until March 7, 2024.
A businessman accused of selling toxic brew believed to have caused the deaths of atleast 17 people in Kangai village, Kirinyaga County has been charged in court.
John Muriithi Karaya, who appeared composed, was brought to court under tight security.
The accused, who was represented by lawyer Kimunto Magara, was charged with selling expired alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks on February 7, 2024 at Kandongu market in Mwea West sub-County.
The businessman denied the charges before Principal Magistrate, Stephen Munene Nyaga, saying he had been unfairly targeted by the police.
Through his lawyer, Mr Karaya also told the court that he was worried about his safety and requested to be transferred from Kiamaciri Police Station, where he is being held.
Ms Magara said her client was arrested by officers attached to Kiamaciri Police Station and he does not feel safe in their custody.
"My client is worried about his safety and is applying to be transferred to Sagana Police Station," Ms Magara told the court.
Ms Magara further asked the police to hasten investigations and charge her client at once instead of preferring piecemeal charges against him.
The magistrate granted the application and directed that the accused be locked up at Sagana Police Station until March 7, 2024, when the case will be mentioned.
More charges are likely to be preferred against the businessman who was arrested after at least 17 people died after consuming the brew at his bar.
Victims of the lethal brew will be buried at their respective homes on Saturday after a joint funeral service organised by the State.
The joint funeral service scheduled to take place at Kangai Primary School in Mwea West Sub-County is expected to be attended by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.
Presently, relatives of the deceased are making funeral arrangements under strict supervision of national government officials.
Members of some of the affected families said they have been dealt a major blow by the tragic death of their kin.
On Saturday Deputy President's spouse, Dorcas Rigathi, assured the bereaved families of decent send-off for those who died.
"The government will meet all burial expenses and the families should not be worried," she said.
Meanwhile, Kirinyaga Senator Kamau Murango has confirmed that a mass funeral service for those who died will be conducted at Kangai.