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Officers in remand harassed, court told

Two police officers who found themselves on the wrong side of the law have become the subject of jokes by fellow inmates at Industrial Area GK Prison, they have said.

They said they had been threatened by other prisoners and their struggle for freedom is also turning out to be a mirage.

Daniel Gacuku Nguru and Edward Barngetuny want to be released on bail, saying they were based at Dandora Police Station and in the course of their duties, had arrested suspects who were in the same jail they were being held in.

In their application, the two policemen told Justice Roselyn Korir that they had received threats from other remandees on account of their previous work.

Killing officer

“The basis of their fear is that before their arrest, they were serving in Dandora and in the course of their duty, they must have arrested or testified against some of the people currently held at the Industrial Area remand prison,” their lawyer Mike Chebii told the court.

The two were arrested on suspicion of killing a fellow officer, Jackson Kiprop on August 2, 2012 in Umoja estate near Egesa Bar. The circumstances of the killing remain unclear.

They denied the charge on May 27, and were remanded to await their trial which is scheduled to start on February 24.
The judge said she empathised with the two.

“Even in the absence of actual threats, there is a possibility of psychological torture through verbal abuse and sarcasm,” said Justice Korir.

Complex web

She, however, declined to release them on bail and upheld arguments by prosecutor Charles Okeyo that the murdered officer was a colleague of the pair and that a majority of the witnesses in the case were fellow police officers.

“The prosecution counsel has described and explained how this complex web of relationships is likely to lead to sympathy and compromise the trial,” said Justice Korir.

She said the court was satisfied that the state had discharged its burden in explaining and demonstrating a likelihood of such interference and it is likely impact on the whole trial.