Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has opposed a bond application from rally driver Maxine Wahome who is accused of killing her late boyfriend Asad Khan.
Haji, through state counsel Allan Mulama, on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 urged High Court Judge Lilian Mutende to deny Maxine bail pending the hearing and determination of the murder trial on grounds that she is a flight risk and will interfere with witnesses.
While asking the judge to deny Maxine bail, Mulama stated that immediately after the incident happened the former celebrated rally ace attempted to flee.
"Looking into the character of the accused person immediately after the very unfortunate incident that led to the death of Khan, it is our submission that such conduct is not a conduct that can be talked about of someone who pleads their innocence.
"It is our strong view that the accused person having stayed at the house of Khan, her conduct of staying away when Khan was in the hospital fighting for his life is questionable. The conduct arose some interest compelling in that suspect before had something to because they were together when this incident occurred," Prosecutor Mulama told the judge.
Khan, 50, died on December 18, 2022, at Avenue Hospital Nairobi following fatal injuries inflicted on him on the night of December 11 and 12, 2022 at his apartment Preston Court in Kileleshwa.
Asad Khan 'assaulted'
According to the state, Khan was assaulted by Maxine.
The prosecutor told the court that immediately after the incident, Maxine attempted to flee from the scene and kept away from Khan when he was in hospital and never attended the burial.
“The conduct of the accused immediately after the commission of the offence by apparently attempting to flee from the scene and even keeping away from the hospital while the victim was in dire straits and further shunning the burial ceremony, is conduct strongly suggestive of an accused who is not ready to willingly surrender to this court’s jurisdiction,” Mulama told the court.
“My Lady the accused was a rookie and it’s the deceased who made her to be who she is now as the celebrated rally driver,” he said.
The prosecutor added that since it has dawned on Maxine that she is facing a capital offence which attracts a death penalty, the bail may be an incentive for her to abscond trial “in light of the strength of the evidence pointing to her culpability”.
A post-mortem report by government pathologist Doctor Ndegwa opined that the cause of death was “septicemia” due to multiple injuries inflicted by both sharp and blunt force trauma.
The prosecution also sought to have her detained claiming that the witnesses are well known to Maxine by virtue of being her neighbours and security guards where the incident occurred. The state is apprehensive that she might interfere with witnesses.
At the same time, Khan's family urged the court to decline Maxine's bail application saying that once she is freed she will flee and never turn up in court for the trial.
"The victim's family is apprehensive that if she is released, the witnesses will be fearful of testifying about what is even written. The family is still grieving the loss of their son and has approached this court seeking to know what caused the death of their loved one.
"The family would be very uncomfortable seeing Maxine walking around noting that their evidence is critical to the prosecution case," the victim's lawyer said.
On her side, Maxine through her Lawyer Phillip Murgor told Justice Mutende to release her on bail as she did not kill Khan and is willing to prove her innocence by all means during the trial.
Murgor dismissed allegations by the DPP that she will flee once released on bail claiming that he and other defence lawyers together with her parents are willing to ensure she attends court as and when required.
He further argued that the state does not have a compelling case against her to deny her bail.
Murgor has urged the court to release her on reasonable bail, arguing that Maxine was a victim of domestic violence and that the love relationship was abusive and dehumanizing.
The lawyer told the court apart from the rocky relationship between the two, Khan and his brother Adir took all her sponsorship money and as a result she has nothing left in her pockets
“Khan was a mechanic who helped Maxine fix her rally cars and when she got famous, all the sponsorship money ended up in the hands of the deceased and his brother Adir.Those sponsorships went straight to Khan and his brother Adir and as she stands here, she does not have anything in her pocket and very little in her bank accounts,” Murgor claimed.
Further, the lawyer claimed that Khan's family have confiscated a Maxine Motor vehicle and they are demanding Sh 2.9 million to release it.
Murgor told the court that Maxine should not be detained pending trial claiming she is a young lady aged 25. He narrated to court how Maxine and Khan met and became love partners.
The court heard that they got into the relationship when khan was 47 years while Maxine was 22 years old
Justice Mutende ordered Maxine be detained at Lang'ata Women's Prison until Monday, March 27 when the case will be mentioned to confirm whether a pre-bail report has been filed by the probation officer before she can deliver her ruling on the bail application.