'WEAK PROSECUTION'

Five accused of killing cop freed

Officer was murdered by gunmen who stole his rifle with 20 rounds of ammunition while guarding Gulf Bank

In Summary

• First accused said he was sitting his exams during the raid at his house, 'had rented the house for his sister who had vacated a month before'. 

• Court says prosecution should have produced the caretaker of the house as a witness to provide details of tenant. 

Magistrate's gavel
Magistrate's gavel
Image: FILE

Five men accused of killing a police officer at the height of the 2015 al Shabaab attacks have been released. 

Mombasa senior resident magistrate Edgar Kagoni cited weak prosecution and freed Mohamed Mwaande, Mohammed Salim, Kassim Ahmed, Mohammed Kassim and Ali Omar on Tuesday.  

Constable Simon Lochodo was murdered and his G3 rifle with 20 bullets stolen as he guarded Gulf Bank in Bondeni on October 2, 2015. 

A DNA report linked Salim, Ahmed and Omar to the stolen items found in their house.  

The investigating officer told the court that he was not present during the DNA tests. The DNA samples were not extracted by the government chemist.

Mwaande, the occupant of the house where the stolen items were allegedly found, told the court that he was sitting his exams at Mombasa Technical Institute. 

He said he had rented the house for his sister who vacated a month before police raided the house. He had left the keys with the caretaker, he said.

The magistrate said the prosecution failed to reach out to the caretaker who knew when the occupant rented the house.

“The caretaker was, unfortunately, not called as a witness and the seasoned Anti-Terrorism Police saw no wisdom to record his statement…there is, therefore, no evidence linking the first accused to the house number B2,” he said and acquitted the five.

 

Edited by R.Wamochie