Former TV anchor Jacque Maribe and her ex-fiancé Joseph Irungu alias Jowie have a case to answer in Monica Kimani’s murder, the High Court has ruled.
Justice Grace Nzioka on Wednesday, March 29, said the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the duo had a hand in the murder of Kimani and put them on their defence.
"After evaluating the evidence on record and all the documentary material placed before me by the parties. I find that the accused with a case to answer. Accordingly, they are placed on their defence," Justice Nzioka ruled.
The judge made the finding after hearing testimonies from 44 witnesses and after considering submissions from the prosecution, Jowie and Maribe.
The due was charged in 2018 for the murder of Monica Kimani who was found dead at her house in Lamuria Gardens in Nairobi.
Kimani met her death hours after she had arrived from Juba, South Sudan where she ran a family business.
During the hearing of the prosecution’s case, prosecution witnesses including the case investigating officer Chief Inspector of Police Maxwell Otieno, informed the court that Kimani was killed using a sharp object, probably a knife, and the same has never been found to date.
Irungu’s lawyer, Prof Hassan Nandwa said, he will call one witness during the defence hearing. The witness will testify in two hours.
For her part, Maribe’s advocate Katwa Kigen said she will call four witnesses and they will testify in four hours.
In their submission, the prosecution had urged the court to put both Maribe and Jowie on defence arguing that there was sufficient evidence adduced to prove that they killed Kimani.
The prosecution through state counsel, Gikui Gichuhi informed the court that all events leading to the murder and subsequent lies made by Maribe to the police show that she planned with Jowie to kill Kimani.
“This points to a calculating mind that planned ahead with Jowie to ensure the murder of the deceased,” Gichuhi informed the court.
The prosecutor also argued that the two accused persons were principal offenders who had a common intention and acted in concert to eliminate the deceased person.
Gichuhi had further asked the court to consider the fact that Maribe made no attempt to disassociate herself from the actions of Jowie and instead helped him to burn evidence.
“The demeanour of ‘Jowie’ and Maribe should also be taken into account at the time of investigations which entailed giving false information to the police during the trial where the accused in some cases missed court proceedings or did not comply with bail conditions granted,” Gichuhi claimed.
The court heard that the two accused persons worked in conjunction to ensure that Jowie had the transport, a menacing weapon and the opportunity to cause the death of the deceased. The prosecution also asked the court to note that Maribe assisted Jowie to burn evidence outside her house.
“Maribe knew that Jowie had gone to the home of the deceased on the night of September 18 and went as far as announcing the sad news on Citizen TV on August 20, 2019, knowing full well what had happened,” she claimed.
However, Jowie and Maribe had urged the court to acquit them of the murder charges arguing that the state had not tabled any evidence directly linking them to the killing of Kimani.
Jowie had on his part urged the court to free him claiming that Monica Kimani might have been killed by an unknown man who was at her house on the fateful night.
“It is this unknown person whose DNA was on the strapping that killed Monica, it's evident from the government chemist that I was not in Monica’s house on that night,” he said.
He also told the court that he had no apparent reason or motive to make him kill the business lady.
The court heard that Maribe did not know Monica and that she never participated in the killing of the deceased as claimed by the Prosecution.
The defence hearing is slated for May 11 and 12, 2023.