Lawyer Kirimi Mbogo, 4 others put on witness protection

Lawyer Kirimi Mbogo at the Meru Law Courts over a land adjudication case.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The judicial officers told Maua Senior Principal Magistrate Tito Gesora that they were afraid of testifying in the case following Mr Mbogo’s shooting in the stomach early September.
  • The four are witnesses in a case where one Mr Joseph Mithika Giteme is charged with the offence of giving false information to a person employed in the public service contrary to section 129 (a) of the Penal Code.

A Meru High Court has placed lawyer Kirimi Mbogo, three judicial officers and a banker on witness protection after they expressed fear for their lives for seeking to testify in a criminal case at a Maua court.

The judicial officers told Maua Senior Principal Magistrate Tito Gesora that they were afraid of testifying in the case following Mr Mbogo’s shooting in the stomach early September.

They said the shooting could be related to the case, hence their call for protection.

Maua unrest

The four are witnesses in a case in which Mr Joseph Mithika Giteme is charged with giving false information to a person employed in the public service contrary to section 129 (a) of the Penal Code.

He is accused of giving false information to the police, claiming that Mr Mbogo was in Maua when houses were burnt in the volatile Kianda area.

The lawyer claims he was in Nyeri County during the incident.

He and the others are expected to prove that Mr Mbogo was, indeed, in Nyeri at the time of the attacks in Maua. The banker will testify that Mr Mbogo physically deposited money at their Nyeri branch at the said time.

No termination

When the matter came up for hearing, the prosecution said the witnesses developed cold feet after Mr Mbogo was shot and injured days after reviving the matter which the Director of Public Prosecutions had wanted terminated in 2016.

The trial magistrate declined to terminate the case, saying Mr Mbogo, who is aggrieved by the said offence, had not been given the reasons.

In his ruling, Justice Alfred Mabeya urged the trial magistrate to hear the matter ''in camera'' and use pseudonyms during presentation of evidence.

Justice Mabeya also wants names of the protected witnesses redacted before being supplied to the accused person, and the identity of the protected witnesses hidden.

He further wants the witnesses to testify in a witness protection box and for the application for their protection kept under lock and key.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.