The widow of slain businessman Erasmus Kinyua and a prison officer said to be her lover will face a murder charge, a Nyeri magistrate court heard Monday.
At the same time, three of the six suspects who were detained by police in connection to the murder on December 19,2021 were set free.
While appearing before Senior Principal Magistrate James Macharia, Mr Michael Mustafa, Francis Aleti and Faith Nyambura were freed following conclusion of investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) which showed that none of the evidence collected could be traced to them.
The three are likely to be turned into State Prosecution witnesses.
The DCI recommended that the remaining suspects – Ms Doris Wambui who is the widow of the slain businessman, Constable Benson Musili, an officer with the Nyeri Main Prison in King’ong’o and Simon Kariuki be preferred with a murder charge.
But when the three were later presented before the Deputy Registrar(DR) of the High Court Ms Edina Angima for plea- taking, Ms Angima deferred the session citing that the matter should be handled by the high court judge.
In her ruling, she directed the suspects to appear before High Court Judge Justice Florence Muchemi on February 1 as she is currently on leave.
During that period, she ordered the police to hold Ms Wambui at the King’ong’o Women’s Prison, Constable Musili at the Kerugoya G.K. Prison and Mr Kariuki at the Nyeri Main prison in King’ong’o.
This was despite an order issued by Justice Muchemi on December 30 last year releasing the widow of the businessman on a bond of Sh100,000 with a surety of a similar amount.
Ms Angima recommended that the suit which saw Ms Wambui released on the bond be heard before the Judge for directions once she resumes.
Following orders by Senior Principal Magistrate Macharia on December 23 last year in which he declined to release the five suspects Ms Wambui moved to the high court seeking a review of the orders.
But even after being freed on bond, Ms Wambui was not released by the DCI.
During the session before Ms Angima, Ms Wambui through her lawyer Mahugu Mbarire told the court that she ought to be out on bond following the orders.
“The only thing remaining for the release is the bond approval whereby the suspect and her surety who holds the Sh100,000 title deed are to be presented before the court for their signatures,” said lawyer Mbarire.
But the Prosecution led by Pauline Mwaniki told the court not to consider the release orders as they had already been overtaken by events.
According to Ms Mwaniki, Wambui acquired bond for the miscellaneous application file opened by the DCI on December 23 last year.
But since the file had already been closed as the police had finalized their investigations, the bond orders were not valid.
“Furthermore, the DCI is intending to prefer murder charges against the suspects on a new file which so far does not contain any bond orders,” said Ms Mwaniki.
Ms Angima upheld the Prosecution’s defence that Ms Wambui was yet to acquire new orders for release on bond based on the new file, but directed that the matter be handled by Justice Muchemi.
For the other suspect Constable Musili, Ms Angima in her ruling said that he should be held at the Kerugoya G.K Prison to avoid being intimidated by remandees at the Nyeri Main Prison where he had previously worked as a warden.
Ms Angima declined a requested by Musili’s lawyer Sam Nyaberi who wanted the officer detained at the Nyeri Police Station.
According to lawyer Nyaberi, holding Musili at the police station would have been easier for his family to access him for any communication regarding the suit because of the distance.
But Ms Angima said that the Kerugoya G.K Prison was as accessible as the police station where he sought to be kept.
She directed the court to appoint a state lawyer for the third suspect Mr Kariuki before February 1.