SUSPECT ON THE RUN

Masten Wanjala took advantage of blackout to escape from police cell, court told

Lawyer Omari faults the state for not charging Wanjala with murder

In Summary

• Police officers Phillip Mbithi, Boniface Kamakia Mutuma and Precious Mwinzi, who were arraigned on Thursday, told the court they had no lights that night.

• Omari opposed an application by the DPP to have the three detained for 14 days to allow the police to conclude investigations.

Jogoo police station had a blackout the day self-confessed blood-drinking child killer Masten Wanjala escaped from custody.

Police officers Phillip Mbithi, Boniface Kamakia Mutuma and Precious Mwinzi arraigned on Thursday said they had no lights that night.

“Your honour, on the day the suspect escaped from police custody, there was no light. The state failed to provide light, so the police officers on duty took shifts at 7pm in total darkness using the spotlight on their phones to count suspects,” lawyer Danstan Omari told senior resident magistrate Jane Kamau.

He opposed an application by the DPP to have the three detained for 14 days to allow the police to conclude investigations. The court will deliver the ruling on Friday morning.

Omari faulted the state for not charging Wanjala with murder, saying he had been held at Jogoo police station since June and "had become more like a police officer".

“It’s true there was a suspect who was taken to Jogoo police station in June. This is more like a police officer. This person knew very well the operations of the police. In my opinion, he should have been charged,” Omari said.

The lawyer claimed that the current wars between the DPP and DCI are the reason his clients have not been charged.

He told the court that the DCI had prepared a charge sheet for the three to take a plea, but the DPP refused to charge them.

“The DCI was ready to charge the suspect but the DPP recommended the miscellaneous with a view of moving the file from the DCI to the IPOA. The court is being dragged into the vicious war that’s ongoing between the DPP and DCI,” Omari said.

In an affidavit by chief inspector Wanga Masake, the state said the three officers were arrested on October 13 on suspicion of having committed an offence of aiding a detainee to escape.

“The offence occurred on the night of October 12 and 13 and the escapee has not been rearrested,” the affidavit stated.

It said preliminary investigations revealed that the three neglected and aided the suspect to escape from custody.

Edited by A.N