- This is the third time that they are making an application for bail before the same judge who has denied them bail twice.
- Their case was adjourned due to lack of a bigger court that could accommodate them.
Four police officers accused of the murder of human rights lawyer Willie Kimani have asked the court to release them on bail due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Administration Police officers Fredrick Leliman, Sylvia Wanjiru, Leonard Mwangi and Stephen Cheburet on Wednesday told the court that they had filed a new application for bail.
Through lawyers Cliff Ombeta and Katwa Kigen they asked for a date when their application would be heard.
Justice Jessie Lessit heard that the application was filed in March and due to the Covid-19 pandemic they could not be heard sooner.
The victims' lawyers and LSK who are interested parties in the case said they had never heard of the bail application.
Judge Lessit directed the defence to serve all parties with the bail application within the next seven days and they also have seven days to respond to the application.
In the application, the accused want the court to release them on reasonable bail saying they fear that they might get Covid-19 while in custody.
“There is a worldwide pandemic of coronavirus and the accused risk death should the said virus find its way to the prison, an eventuality that is very likely,” reads the application.
In his affidavit, Cheburet says he has been remanded at Kamiti Maximum Prison since 2016 on the allegations that he murdered Willie Kimani and two others, which is not true.
“That there are allegations that the death of Willie Kimani, Josephat Mwenda and Joseph Muiruri was caused by me, allegations which are untrue,” Cheburet claims.
The corporal says he has served in the force for 31 years and in those years he never faced any criminal charges except this one before court.
The father of nine pleads with the court to release him on bail so that he can go home and provide for his kids who solely depend on him for upkeep because he is the sole breadwinner.
Willie Kimani was murdered alongside his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri on June 23, 2016, and their bodies dumped in Ol Donyo Sabuk River.
Meanwhile the hearing of the case was adjourned on Wednesday after judge Lessit raised concern over lack of a conducive court that would accommodate all the parties.
The hearing had resumed after a long break due to the pandemic but it could not proceed due to lack of a big space to accommodate parties.
Justice Lessit raised concern that the tent provided by the Judiciary was very small and could not hold everyone while adhering to the MoH directives on social distancing.
Lessit said she had asked for a 100-capacity tent but was given the small tent and apologised to lawyers for the inconvenience.
The hearing was adjourned to Monday next week to allow Judiciary to procure a bigger tent to accommodate everyone.
The case has a high number of parties who sit in court during the hearing and it would be a tall order to fit them in a small tent while adhering to Covid-19 measures.
The courtroom comprised of the judge, five accused persons , four defence lawyers with assistants, three prosecutors, the victim's lawyers, LSK, IJM, the orderlies since the accused are from prison and the families of the deceased.
Edited by Henry Makori