• Gichunge did not indicate what the suspect was suffering from at the time of his death.
• Kinyua asked Meru senior resident magistrate Evans Mbicha to have the criminal case withdrawn.
The Director of Public Prosecutions has withdrawn charges against a defilement suspect who died mysteriously while in custody.
Josphat Mbugua Kinoti, 49, died on March 23, 2020, shortly after he was taken to Meru Level 5 Hospital for treatment.
Kinoti was charged with defiling a minor on January 5, 2019, in Kaaga location.
He faced an alternative charge of indecent act with a minor.
Kinoti denied both charges and was released on Sh500,000 bond. He was unable to pay.
State Prosecutor James Kinyua served the court with a signal authored by officer-in-charge of Meru prison Gerald Gichunge, indicating the suspect died nearly two months ago.
“We regret to report the death of one remand prisoner EX-MER/39/2019/0R Josphat Mbugua Kinoti, which occurred on March 23, 2020, at 9.20 hours," the signal read in part.
Gichunge did not, however, indicate what the suspect, who was committed to the correctional facility on January 24, 2020, was suffering from at the time of his death.
Kinyua asked Meru senior resident magistrate Evans Mbicha to have the criminal case withdrawn.
“I have seen a signal that the accused passed on. Under the circumstances, this matter is withdrawn pursuant to Section 87(A) of the Criminal Procedure Code,’’ the magistrate ruled.
The section states that a prosecutor with consent from the court or from instructions from the DPP, at any time before judgement, may withdraw the charges of an accused person.
It further states that upon withdrawal, the accused person will not bar them from subsequent proceedings on account of the same facts.
Edited by A.N