CHIEF MAGISTRATE BLEW WHISTLE

Magistrate in Sh30m heroin loss case freed

Arrested for 'mishandling of evidence' leading to its loss, SAYS argues that he cannot be prosecuted over his judgments

In Summary

• Kenya Judges and Magistrates Association had also filed a petition seeking release. 

• Judge says magistrate’s individual independence was at stake and under threat from the executive. 

Coast Regional Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit head Nelson Masengele, regional coordinator John Elungata and police commander Rashid Yakub inspect sachets of heroin and cocaine at Regional Police headquarters, Mombasa on August 25
RELEASED ON BOND: Coast Regional Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit head Nelson Masengele, regional coordinator John Elungata and police commander Rashid Yakub inspect sachets of heroin and cocaine at Regional Police headquarters, Mombasa on August 25
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

The Mombasa High Court on Monday ordered the release of principal magistrate Edgar Kagoni in connection with the loss of Sh30 million heroin held as evidence.

He was released on Sh100,000 bond or an alternative bail of Sh20,000.

Kagoni had filed a petition to stop his prosecution, arguing that a magistrate cannot be arrested over his judgments.

 

He was represented by lawyers Nelson Havi, Vincent Omollo, Daniel Wamotsa, Manasse Anada and Titus Kivui.

“Further criminal processing and prosecution of the petitioner must be stopped as a matter of urgency," Kagoni’s petition reads.

The DPP has been listed as the first respondent and the Attorney General as the second respondent. 

DPP Noordin Haji said in a statement to newsrooms on Friday that Kagoni faces charges of obstruction with intent to defeat justice and aiding and betting trafficking in narcotics.

Lead counsel Havi said the DPP can only disagree with judgments delivered in court through revision or appeal. 

The Kenya Judges and Magistrates Association had filed a similar petition seeking Kagoni's release, pending determination of any application by the DPP.

Justice Reuben Nyakundi ruled that Kagoni’s individual independence was at stake and under threat from the executive. 

 

He ordered the DPP to be served with the ruling vial email, WhatsApp, SMS or by word of mouth to fast-track the release of the magistrate who is  held at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.

The matter will be mentioned on September 12.

Kagoni and three other court officials were arrested on Friday over the disappearance of heroin exhibits worth Sh30 million from the exhibit store between June 28 and July 26. 

His boss, Mombasa chief magistrate Evans Makori, blew the whistle on the disappearance of the heroin haul, held as an exhibit, and asked the DCI to investigate.

Edited by R.Wamochie