Uasin Gishu County director charged with threatening to kill magistrate
What you need to know:
- The court heard that Cosmas Kerich threatened to kill the then Principal Magistrate in charge of the Municipal court
- Eldoret Principal Magistrate Christine Menya declined to release the accused on bond, after the prosecution objected to the request
- Prosecution termed him a stubborn person who is a threat to the life of the complainant, if released on bond
A Uasin Gishu county director was charged with threatening to kill an Eldoret magistrate.
Eldoret Principal Magistrate Christine Menya on Tuesday declined to release Cosmas Kerich, a director of county enforcement services on bond, after the prosecution objected to the request, terming him a stubborn person who is a threat to the life of the complainant, if released on bond.
“The complainant, in this case, is a principal magistrate who is currently admitted to an Eldoret hospital. Before the arrest of the accused, the magistrate had raised numerous complaints about frequent threats from the accused who had even warned her against taking the matter to court,” Jamlek Murithi, a State Counsel told the court.
The sentiments of the State Counsel were echoed by lawyer Geoffrey Okara representing the complainant.
The charge sheet stated that Mr Kerich on October 17, 2022, at the Eldoret Municipal court threatened to kill the then Principal Magistrate in charge of the court, Ms Emily Kigen.
Beatings in court cells
On the day of the incident, the magistrate is alleged to have responded to a distress call from a suspect from the municipal court cell who was crying for help as he was being subjected to severe beating by county enforcement officers.
Mr Okara told the court that police had a hard time recording statements from the accused since the county government was protecting him and was hostile to police at the time of recording statements.
“County enforcement officers operate with impunity. I agree with the State Counsel that releasing him on a bond will be an outright ticket for the accused to continue threatening my client,” Mr Okara told the court.
The prosecution requested the court to wait for the pre-bail report to ascertain whether the accused qualified to be released on bond.
Lawyer Elijah Momanyi representing the accused objected to the application by the prosecution, claiming it was meant to deny his client’s rights, which is against the law.
Mr Momanyi accused the State Counsel of being partisan in the matter.
“Unfortunately, the State Counsel has already started taking sides in this matter. He has already indicated that he is an interested party in this matter,” Mr Momanyi told the court.
Victim of threats
The State Counsel in the matter has indicated that he will withdraw himself from the case, noting that he has been a victim of threats and intimidation from the same county enforcement officers.
“I intend to disqualify myself from prosecuting the matter. I am an interested party to the matter,” he told the court.
The court almost turned into a verbal exchange between the prosecutor and the lawyer representing the accused.
The presiding magistrate ordered the duo to respect the court.
The magistrate directed the matter to be mentioned on March 31 when a pre-bail report will be presented in court.