Why Bail in Lawyer Kimani’s murder was put off

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Four police officers charged with the murder of lawyer Willie Kimani and two others have made a new application to be released on bail, saying key witnesses have testified.

Fredrick Leliman, Stephen Cheburet, Sylvia Wanjiku and Leonard Maina Mwangi want the court to review their bail application, saying they will not abscond trial as they are public servants.

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Through their lawyer, the four noted that 38 witnesses have already testified and they cannot determine how long the remaining witnesses will take.

They urged Justice Jessie Lessit to consider their plight and release them arguing that they are parents, and intend to go through the trial to completion in order to clear their names.

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Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Mutuku, however, opposed their application saying six witnesses are remaining which worsens the circumstances. Mutuku said the four are police officers and they would feel apprehensive if accused are released on bail.

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“It cannot be said that there is no threat to all witness under protection and it will not be in the interest of the accused persons themselves to be released,” he said. Kimani’s lawyer Ben Sihanya echoed Mutuku’s statement and urged the court to deny the four bail. The ruling will be made on May 9.

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The four police officers and an informer are accused of abducting Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi-driver Joseph Muiruri as they exited Mavoko law courts on June 23, 2016. Their bodies were found in Oldonyo Sabuk river days after they were reported missing. 

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