Eight police officers of the defunct Special Service Unit (SSU) will remain in police custody for 21 days to allow the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to complete probe.
Kahawa law court Chief Magistrate Diana Mochache on Thursday said the officers are facing serious crimes and should be remanded until investigations are completed as requested by the prosecution.
“I allow the application to detain the suspects pending investigations except for the seventh suspect.
"They will be detained for 21 days to allow police to complete their investigations,” Mochache ruled.
The judge further denied claims that the case against the suspects was politically motivated.
Investigating officers led by Wilhem Kibet had also denied allegations by the suspects who were detained over the abduction of two missing Indians and their driver.
“The investigations are not politically motivated as alleged, however, the constitution upholds the right and fundamental freedoms of all Kenyans including foreign nationals in Kenya,” the investigating agency informed the court.
Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) had urged Mochache to grant them 30 more days to continue holding the nine officers linked to the forcible disappearance of the Indians, Mohammed Said Sami and Zulfiqar Ahmed who are claimed to have travelled to Kenya during the election period and were working with a digital media team allied to President William Ruto.
“There is a need to conduct further investigations and gather more confirmatory evidence to unearth more details to determine the involvement or otherwise of the nine officers on the disappearance of the victims herein,” IAU says.
SSU officers detained
But the officers namely Francis Ndonye, Peter Gachiku, John Kamau, Joseph Mbugua, Joseph Mbaya, David Kipsoi, Stephen Mutunda, Paul Muriithi, and Simon Gikonyo through lawyer Danstan Omari blamed their woes on political expediency.
"I believe my clients' prosecution is politically instigated as in the past, the Head of State has weighed in especially in his Mashujaa National Holiday speech he explicitly stated that he had issued directions for investigations in regard to the instant matter notwithstanding the fact that National Police Service is an independent office subject to directions from the office of Director of Public Prosecution,” said lawyer Omari.
According to the suspects, they have been painted as cold-blooded killers before the courts find them guilty of the accusations.
They also believed that period sought for their detention was meant to harass and intimidate them.
While opposing the application by the IAU to have them held in cells for another 30 days, the embattled officers told the court that they have a right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty as the utterances in the court of public opinion and remarks made by the president depicted them as killers.
All the officers were sent on a 30-day compulsory leave after the disbandment of the Unit and asked to report to the DCI headquarters for deployment and administrative action.