Peter Karanja, the second suspect in the murder of Dutch billionaire businessman Tob Cohen, has been released on a Ksh. 4 million bond with two sureties of Ksh. 2 million or an alternative Ksh. 2 million cash bail.
On Tuesday 29 October, 2019 High Court Judge Hon. Daniel Ogembo dismissed an objection by the Director of Public Prosecution to deny the suspect bond based on the allegation that if released he was likely to interfere with witnesses and moreover he was a flight risk since he had no permanent abode.
According to the judge, the DPP did not present any evidence to show how the accused would interfere with the witnesses if released. The judge also mentioned that the accused homes were in Nakuru or Gilgil respectively therefore, he could be located in either of them.
Albeit the judge released the suspect on bond, he warned him from communicating with any witnesses in the case unless a court order allows him to do so.
“You are hereby ordered not to interfere with State witnesses or communicate with family members of the deceased,” the judge ordered. “The offence that the accused is alleged to have committed is serious. It attracts a death sentence upon conviction.”
However, Article 49(h) of the Constitution allows courts to release on bond or bail on reasonable, pending a charge or trial, unless there are compelling reasons not to be released.
“In the present case before me, the DPP has not advanced any compelling reasons which warrant denial of bond. The DPP has stated generalities,”read the judgement.
Moreover, the high court relied on an earlier ruling where another suspect in the same case, Sarah Wairimu had been released on bond.
Peter Karanja’s case will be consolidated with that of Sarah Wairimu.
The mention date has been scheduled on November 12, 2019 for further directions.
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