PRETRIAL ON JANUARY 23

Ex-KDF man in Syombua murder case refuses to take plea, judge acts

Peter Mwaura Mugure declined to plead to three charges of murder, forcing judge to enter plea of not guilty Judge in

In Summary

• Mugure is accused of killing Joyce Syombua Maua and her children Shanice Mugure Mwaura also known as Shanice Maua and Peter Mwaura Junior also known as Prince Michael.

• The charge sheet said Mugure committed the offense on October 26, 2019 at Laikipia Airbase in Nanyuki town. He committed the offense jointly with others who were not before the court.

Former KDF officer Peter Mugure.
Former KDF officer Peter Mugure.
Image: EUTYCAS MUCHIRI

A former KDF soldier accused of killing his estranged wife and two children finally took plea on Friday after three postponements.

Peter Mwaura Mugure faced three charges of murder in the killing of Joyce Syombua Maua and her children Shanice Mugure Mwaura, also known as Shanice Maua, and Peter Mwaura Junior, also known as Prince Michael.

The charge sheet said Mugure committed the offence on October 26, 2019 at Laikipia Airbase in Nanyuki town. He committed the offense jointly with others who were not before the court.

But Mugure told the court that his conscience could not allow him to take plea before some issues pertaining to the case were addressed prompting High Court Judge Jairus Ngaah to enter a plea of not guilty.

“I have entered a plea of not guilty,” Ngaah said.

Muguru's lawyer Njuguna Kimani said he had no information pertaining to the case, including the charge sheets and all other items.

He said he had just been instructed to appear for the accused person and hurried to court.

“The court has rightly entered a plea of not guilty. I don’t know what those issues are as I have not gotten time to exhaustively talk to or have a discussion with the accused person,” Kimani said.

Kimani suggested that the court hears the issues Mugure was talking about as he was also not aware of them.

“Maybe those issues would be best dealt with during the trial, with your permission, so that we proceed on a clear road map,” the lawyer said.

He asked the court to give a mention date so that he gets all the required documents including the medical report, witness statements and affidavits before they can argue on whether the accused can be released on bond.

Ngaah directed the prosecution to supply the defence with all the statements and the documentary evidence that the prosecution would be relying on in the case.

The pretrial conference was set for January 23 when the prosecution will inform the court of the witnesses it intends to present. The court will also set the hearing date during the pretrial conference.

Earlier, the prosecution led by Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Peter Mailanyi complained that accused lawyer Cliff Ombeta was taking too long to arrive in court

Mailanyi also said Ombeta was not picking calls from relatives and investigating officers who called him.

This prompted Justice Ngaah to adjourn the plea taking until 10:30 am as they waited for Ombeta to show up or communicate. 

Lawyer Kimani later showed up in place of Ombeta.

Mugure a former KDF major. He is accused of killing the three within the Laikipia Army base where he was stationed. The KDF sacked him following the murders and his subsequent arrest.

 

edited by p.o