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Why murder suspect Kang’ethe is ‘held in handcuffs’ in prison

Murder suspect Kevin Kang’ethe says his detention at the Industrial Area Prison Remand is unlawful and a blatant violation of his fundamental rights.

Kang’ethe has called on the courts to intervene, saying his experience behind bars is unlawful and dehumanizing.

The court ordered the suspect be detained at the remand prison after he was accused of escaping from the Muthaiga Police station.

Through his newly engaged lawyer John Maina Ndegwa, Kang’ethe who is wanted in the US to answer to charges of murdering his girlfriend, suggested he did not know why the decision to hold him at a remand prison was arrived at.

Mr Ndegwa told Milimani chief magistrate Lucas Onyina the State has gone against the grain of the miscellaneous application filed before the court on January 29, 2024 in which the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) sought a detention period of 30 days as his extradition proceedings were regularised.

Kang’ethe was initially presented before Senior Principal magistrate Zainabu Abdul and the lead Investigator sought to have the fugitive detained for 30 days at Muthaiga Police Station.

The court granted the orders as sought by investigation team to detain Kang’ethe at the Muthaiga police station for 30 days, a period that lapsed on February 29, 2024.

Mr Ndegwa said the prosecution did not seek extension of the orders after the time requested lapsed, failure to which the fugitive has been incarcerated illegally.

“Your honor the orders sought by the lead investigator was to hold my client at Muthaiga Police Station for 30 days and the court ordered the same,” said Mr Ndegwa.

The lawyer also sought directions from the court regarding his detention at Industrial Area Maximum Prison whilst the court directed him be remanded in medium facility.

He also added that his client is treated as a convict in the matter as he is held in handcuffs during the day and night and whenever he is doing his daily routines within the facility.

Mr Ndegwa requested the court to give him 21 days to respond to the prosecution regarding the documents supplied to his client about his extradition to the US to face a murder charge for the killing of Margaret Mbitu, his former girlfriend.

“You honour I came on record to the suspect this morning and I was not able to go through the extradition documents so that I can respond to the same effectively,” he stated.

He further requested the court to be allowed the access of his client whenever he wants and to his file in order to make proper responses.

In responding to the defence, state prosecutor Magdalene Nduati told the court the misconduct of Kang’ethe led them file an affidavit before court seeking orders the suspect be held at Industrial Area Remand prison where security is enhanced.

She insisted Kang’ethe remains at the remand prison pursuant to the courts directions.

Ms Nduati told the court that they have no problem with his lawyer being allowed to access to speak with his client and access to the file provided he is now on record for the suspect because it is his constitutional rights.

Kang’ethe was arrested following a warrant issued by a United States of America court with allegations of killing his girlfriend Margaret Mbitu on diverse dates between October 30 and November 4,2023.

He is said to have escaped from US to hide in Kenya in his bid to escape justice in America over the alleged crime.

In his brief ruling Mr Onyina considered the submissions by both parties and granted the defence lawyer 21 days to go through the file and respond.

The prosecution were directed to furnish the defence with necessary documents and ordered the response be filed within the said days.

Regarding the release of the suspect, the magistrate said the court cannot make any order to release him before the issue of bail and bond is canvassed.

He directed the suspect to remain in Industrial Area Remand prison.

The matter was put off to April 4, 2024, for all the parties to file necessary documents.

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