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 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.
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