DPP withdraws case against Siaya priest accused of spreading virus

In Summary

•The case was withdrawn under section 87A of the Criminal Procedure Act since the charges of spreading infections could not hold.

•The priest who had been arrested immediately after being discharged from Mbagathi Hospital, spent four days in police custody as well as the entire Easter period in the cells.

Father Richard Onyango Oduor at the Milimani Law Courts on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
Father Richard Onyango Oduor at the Milimani Law Courts on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
Image: FILE

Siaya Priest Richard Odour, who was charged with knowingly spreading the coronavirus disease, has been set free by a Nairobi court.

This is after the DPP withdrew the charges against him following the prosecution’s failure to produce witnesses in court for trial. "CCIO Kilimani has failed to produce witnesses in court nine times, making the court to adjourn the hearing of this case", the court heard on Thursday.

State counsel James Machirah told the court that public interest in the matter had been served in detering negligent behaviour in the society that is likely to risk one's life and that of others.

The case was withdrawn under section 87A of the Criminal Procedure Act since the charges of spreading infections could not hold.

The priest who had been arrested immediately after being discharged from Mbagathi Hospital, spent four days in police custody as well as the entire Easter period in the cells.

The priest jetted into the country on March 10 from Italy, a country which had by then experienced high numbers of patients contracting Covid-19, but failed to self-quarantine.