Didmus Barasa pleads not guilty of murdering opponent’s aide
Kimilili Member of Parliament-elect Didmus Barasa who is accused of murdering Brian Olunga has denied the charges at the Kakamega High Court.
Mr Barasa pleaded not guilty in a case where he is accused of fatally shooting Mr Olunga, who was an aide of the MP’s closest opponent in Kimilili parliamentary seat race Mr Brian Khaemba. The incident happened on election day.
Olunga died of a gunshot wound on the right side of his head, a post-mortem report revealed last week.
The accused has been in custody for the last two weeks. His lawyer Nathan Tororei asked the court to release him on bail whose determination the court is to make at 3pm. Judge Paul John Otieno is set to issue a ruling on whether the legislator, will be set free on bail.
The MP had been detained at Kisumu cells where he appeared in court virtually and the court allowed police to detain him for two weeks ahead of plea taking.
This is after detectives in the case requested for more time to engage the Witness Protection Agency (WPA) to protect witnesses who had expressed fear to testify.
The detectives also asked for more time to complete and present ballistic and postmortem reports. An autopsy on the body of Olunga showed he died of a pistol bullet which struck the right side of his head.
The prosecution on Wednesday asked the court to grant Mr Barasa a costly bail due to the nature of the crime he is accused of committing.
The prosecution also asked the court to instruct Barasa not to visit Kimilili Constituency, especially the scene of the incident, as he may influence the witnesses in the case.
The lawmaker had earlier said he also wants to know who dead the deceased, bearing in mind that there were many guns at Chebkhwabi polling station when the incident happened.
He denied that he had gone into hiding after the incident and said he showed up at the police station after learning through the media that the police were looking for him.