No wit­nesses in crime-buster cop case

Prose­cu­tor ac­cuses vic­tims’ fam­ily of lack­ing in­ter­est in mur­der trial of “hero” vig­i­lante cop. ‘It was only pru­dent for them to come and be placed un­der the wit­ness pro­tec­tion pro­gramme.’ she says

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - CAROLE MAINA @Maina Carole

The mur­der trial of a pop­u­lar vig­i­lante “crime-fight­ing” po­lice of­fi­cer is near col­lapse.

Key pros­e­cu­tion wit­ness can­not be traced or refuse to tes­tify for fear of their lives. Video tes­ti­mony from Nor­way is pos­si­ble but not cer­tain.

The pros­e­cu­tion yes­ter­day abruptly closed its case in the mur­der trial of cop Ti­tus Musila, alias Kat­itu, whose ar­rest trig­gered a three-day protest on Thika Su­per­high­way three years ago.

Musilia, who was at­tached to Kasarani po­lice sta­tion, is on trial for the mur­der of Ken­neth Ki­mani in 2013 and his brother Os­car Mu­choki in 2014, in Githu­rai 45.

The pros­e­cu­tion was to call 22 wit- nesses but opted for 18, say­ing it was un­able to trace the oth­ers. State prose­cu­tor Cather­ine Mwaniki told judge James Waki­aga they had dif­fi­cul­ties, es­pe­cially ar­rang­ing ap­pear­ance of two key wit­nesses who live in Nor­way.

“We can­not trace the de­ceased’s mother, Pu­rity Wan­jiku, and his sis­ter, Stella Mwangi. We sur­ren­der the rest to the de­fence if they wish them tes­tify on their be­half,” Mwaniki said.

Mwaniki’s de­ci­sion was op­posed by the In­de­pen­dent Polic­ing Over­sight Au­thor­ity, which called their tes­ti­mony cru­cial.

“They fear for their lives and are not will­ing to come back to tes­tify. How­ever, they believe ev­i­dence can be taken in video con­fer­enc­ing,” Ipoa said.

But Mwaniki and de­fence lawyer Cliff Om­beta said they were in­formed of all dates and it was only pru­dent to be placed un­der wit­ness pro­tec­tion. The next hear­ing is on Novem­ber 3.

/PHILLIP KAMAKYA

Lawyer Cliff Om­beta with con­sta­ble Ti­tus Musili, who was a Githu­rai po­lice of­fi­cer, after the hear­ing of the case at Mil­i­mani law courts yes­ter­day. Musili is on trial for the mur­der of two brothers in 2013 and 2014

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