17 suspects in Raila’s chopper attack incident to be detained for seven more days

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 4 Apr, 2022 16:21 | 2 mins read
A photo of the destroyed windscreen of a chopper that was ferrying ODM leader Raila Odinga and other Azimio leaders PHOTO/Junet Mohammed/Twitter

A court in Eldoret has detained 17 suspects believed to be behind the attack on ODM leader Raila Odinga's convoy during Mzee Jackson Kibor's burial at his Kabenes home in Uasin-Gishu County on Friday.

The suspects will be detained for a week to allow police to conclude investigations into the incident. 

Appearing before Eldoret Senior Resident Magistrate Emily Kigen, the suspects were charged for among other offences; attempted murder, malicious damage of property, incitement to violence and creating disturbance on April 1, 2022.

The prosecution's side through Jamleck Mureithi had requested 14 days to allow police to conclude investigations but the magistrate reduced it to a week following an appeal by the suspects' lawyer Titus Bitok. 

The prosecution argued that some of the suspects were ferried from outside Uasin-Gishu County and therefore likely to abscond court in the case and interfere with the collection of evidence if released. 

"This matter is of public interest considering that it happened during the election period. It would also be difficult to trace them considering they all do not come from the same place. Also, some of them are students who are set to fly out of the country and may travel before this matter is concluded if released," Mureithi said.

But the defence team led by Bitok opposed the application arguing that police had made their minds to prosecute the 17 by the time they arrested them.

"The right to a fair hearing is enshrined in the constitution of Kenya. The veracity of an offence is not weighted down upon by the number of suspects," Bitok argued.

In her ruling, Ms Kigen granted the prosecution's request for time to conclude investigations into the incident noting that it was also for the good of the suspects.

"This will also give the court a clearer picture to make a determination whether to charge the suspects or not. It is for their common good as some of them may be exonerated of the offence," the Magistrate said. 

The suspects will, therefore, be detained at Eldoret police station until the next hearing scheduled for April 13.