Scarlet Wahu: Key suspect John Matara denies murder charge

Murder suspect John Matara at the DCI offices in Makadara where he was arraigned on murder charges as he appeared (virtually) before Justice Kanyi Kimondo of the Milimani High Court. 

Photo credit: Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

Murder suspect John Matara on Friday, February 2, 2024, denied murdering socialite Starlet Wahu in a short-stay rented flat in South B, Nairobi.

Matara appeared virtually before Milimani High Court judge Kanyi Kimondo, from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) offices in Makadara, Nairobi.

He was charged with killing Wahu on January 3, 2024. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) says it intends to object to his release on bail.

Justice Kimondo gave Matara seven days to prepare his formal bail application and to serve it on the ODPP and Wahu's family lawyer.

The ODPP was also ordered to file its application to oppose the bail and serve it on the defence lawyer.

The judge also ordered that a social inquiry report be prepared by the Department of Probation and Aftercare Services to assist the court in determining the defendant's suitability for bond and bail conditions.

The probation department was also ordered to prepare a victim impact assessment, which will also be relied upon.

Starlet Wahu Mwangi.

Starlet Wahu Mwangi whose body was found at an apartment in South B, Nairobi.

Photo credit: Pool

Matara is represented by lawyer Samuel Ayora. Ayora wanted to lodge a complaint against DCI Makadara officers, but Kimondo told him to wait for the appropriate time at the start of the trial.

Matara will therefore remain in custody at Nairobi Area Remand and Allocation Prison in the Industrial Area until February 26, 2024, when his bail application will be heard.

He will be interviewed by probation officers from the remand prison.

Ayora told Makadara Principal Magistrate Monica Kivuti last week that Matara remained unsafe even in police custody.

She added that while he was in custody at the Industrial Area Police Station, two people attempted to remove him from the police cells and take him to an unknown location, but fortunately, he successfully resisted.