A couple accused of trafficking heroin worth Sh5.8 million has been released on a Sh2 million bond each, after spending more than two months in custody.
Bwana Said Aboobakar and Mwanasomo Mohamed secured the bond terms, following intervention by the High Court.
Mombasa High Court Judge Anne Ongi’njo did not agree with the state that the suspects are likely to interfere with the ongoing trial and investigations case when granted bond.
“The suspects maybe released on a bond of Sh2 million each with one surety each of a similar amount or in the alternative cash bail of Sh1 million,” said the judge.
Mr Aboobakar and Ms Mohamed are also required to provide a contact person to undertake, in writing, that they will ensure their attendance in court as and when required.
The two have also been directed to deposit their original passports in court before they are released.
“The suspects shall also be required to seek the trial court’s permission before traveling out of the court’s jurisdiction,” said Justice Ongi’njo.
The couple has denied trafficking in drugs in Mombasa.
The judge overturned a magistrate court’s decision that denied the suspect’s bond.
The magistrate had declined to grant the suspects bond on grounds that there are still ongoing investigations, which they are likely to interfere with.
However, the judge noted that the trial magistrate erred in law and principle in finding that the suspects will interfere and obstruct justice when granted bond.
Justice Ongi’njo arrived at the decision after finding that the prosecution failed to prove that the Applicants are a flight risk.
The prosecution’s position, in this case, is that the suspects have been charged with a serious offense, and in the event of conviction, attracts a severe and hefty sentence.
The state also alleges that the foreigners are a flight risk and that they do not have a fixed abode, and that there are still ongoing investigations.
The prosecution also stated certain items including identification documents and phones recovered in the suspects’ house, have been taken for forensic analysis, and that they are yet to receive the reports, which might lead to further arrests and findings.
The court, however, discredited these averments, noting that despite the ongoing investigations, it is clear the police have recovered what they need from the suspects with regards to their investigation, and are even ready to begin the trial.
“The prosecution has not explained how the suspects will interfere with their investigations, or hinder the arrest of other suspects, who are still at large. These investigations and examination of documents is being done by Government controlled agencies, no linkage has been established between the suspects and the said agencies,” said the judge.
Through their lawyer Jared Magolo, the suspects pleaded for bond pending trial, assuring that they are ready to comply with any conditions given by the court.
Mr Magolo submitted that since the suspects are husband and wife, the court should consider that this is a situation where a family is held in custody and the only document shown to the court is a charge sheet.
“The trial court’s finding does not pinpoint what the compelling reasons are or how ongoing investigations will be interfered with if the suspects are released on bond,” he said.
Police claim that the heroin had been wrapped separately in two packages and hidden in a wardrobe.
Police claim that the heroine contained in two packages had been covered with cloths in preparation for transportation to Lamu Island for distribution by a notorious female drug dealer.
The two packages were marked “777” in blue marker pen. The police allege the suspects brought in the drug consignment from Tanga, Tanzania.