The Star (Kenya) - - Big Read -

A Nairobi bus crew fac­ing charges of strip­ping and sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a fe­male pas­sen­ger will de­fend them­selves on Novem­ber 15, a Nairobi court ruled af­ter they were found with a case to an­swer.

Trial mag­is­trate Daniel Ogembo put on de­fence Githu­rai 44 bus driver Ni­cholas Chege Mwangi and con­duc­tor Me­shack Mburu Mwangi, as well as Ed­ward Ka­mau.

“Con­sid­er­ing the ev­i­dence on record and the tes­ti­mony of the 12 pros­e­cu­tion wit­nesses, l find that they have a case to an­swer and or­der they be put on their de­fence,” he said.

The three are also charged with a cap­i­tal of­fence stat­ing they robbed the woman of per­sonal ef­fects amount­ing to Sh41,700. All the ac­cused are be­ing rep­re­sented by lawyer Har­ri­son Kinyan­jui.

They have been also ac­cused of robbing the 21-year-old woman, iden­ti­fied only by her ini­tials H.E.W., be­tween Septem­ber 19 and 20, 2014 at Mil­len­nium petrol sta­tion in Githu­rai 44, Kasarani, Nairobi county.

They are also ac­cused of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing her. Ka­mau is al­leged to have recorded the in­de­cent act, which was cir­cu­lated on so­cial me­dia. Over 15 wit­nesses com­pleted their tes­ti­mony in the case.

The ac­cused per­sons, who have been in cus­tody since they first ap­peared in court, were de­nied bail by for­mer trial mag­is­trate Lucy Mbugua af­ter the pros­e­cu­tion op­posed their re­lease on bond, stat­ing that the pos­si­ble pun­ish­ment await­ing the sus­pects, a death penalty and pos­si­ble life sen­tence, may scare them away from at­tend­ing fur­ther ses­sions.

Pros­e­cu­tor Dun­can Ondimu had also in­formed the court that their safety “may not be guar­an­teed out­side the court’s ju­ris­dic­tion, as the act had drawn pub­lic out­rage” af­ter a video clip show­ing the as­sault went vi­ral.

While dis­miss­ing their bail ap­pli­ca­tion, Mbugua said there are enough com­pelling rea­sons to deny the m bail, terming their sex­ual of­fences “gross and ab­hor­rent.”

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