Accomplices of Kenya’s once most wanted criminal seeking retrial
Two death row convicts alleged to have been the accomplices of the once dreaded gangster, Simon Matheri, want the High Court to order a retrial of a murder case that they tried for in absentia six years ago.
One of the convicts, Simon Ndung’u Wainaina, told Mr Justice Luka Kimaru that they were arrested the day police fell Kenya’s most wanted gangster over whose head a bounty of Sh150,000 had been placed.
Matheri died in a hail of bullets at his Athi River residence when he was subdued by a contingent of over 100 police officers.
Wainaina and Reuben Shanky Akelo who are waiting to face the hangman after being convicted of robbery with violence urged Justice Kimaru to refer their case to the Chief Justice David Maraga to empanel three or five judges to adjudicate over their case for retrial.
“Our rights to a fair trial under Article 50(2) of the 2010 Constitution have been breached with impunity by the prosecution,” the two submitted before the judge.
The two inmates stunned the court when they disclosed that they have been compelled to defend themselves in a murder case they never participated in.
They told the court that the last time they appeared in court was in December 20, 2011 for the routine mention of the murder case and the next time they were paraded in court was five years later in December 21 2016 for the delivery of a ruling of the case.
They were supposed to defend themselves on January 27, 2017 but they protested.
“To our utter shock we were informed that we had a case to answer and that we shall be put on our defence,” the two stated.
They also claim that the advocates appointed by the deputy registrar to defend them never visited them at Kamiti Maximum Prison to seek information.
They expressed their dissatisfaction before Justice Kimaru saying: “We are in great shock right now because we do not know for sure how to defend ourselves considering we were not given an opportunity to hear evidence then cross-examine prosecution witnesses.”
The two are now seeking to have the trial that was heard by Justice Stellah Mutuku in their absence nullified. They also want the court to invoke its unlimited jurisdiction to order a retrial.
Justice Kimaru directed the case be mentioned before Justice Mutuku for directions.