Court defers case against accused Baby Pendo killers to January 30
A court on Monday deferred to January 30, 2023, the case against 12 police officers accused of involvement in the 2017 murder of Baby Samantha Pendo among other crimes committed in the post-election period.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has sought 21 days pending the hearing and determination of a Constitutional Petition filed by the defense lawyers.
Haji, through Alexander Muteti and Victor Owiti, urged Justice George Kinya Kimondo to give him more time to interrogate afresh the file in the matter and a constitutional petition filed before a separate court by the suspects prior to the commencement of the murder trial against the officers.
“For good order before plea is taken, we urge the court to grant us 21 days to look at the current file as it has come to my boss’ attention this morning that there is a constitutional petition in another court where the suspects are challenging the legality of the intended trial and what has emerged from the proceedings is the issue of jurisdiction and manner in which charges have been framed,” Muteti said.
“This is a very serious case with far-reaching implications as it is a case of unique nature as the suspects have been brought to court where they are being charged under the International Crimes Act. This is a case where a child died and other violations of sexual violence and torture. We need directions from the court on how to proceed on the matter regarding its uniqueness.”
Consequently, the court agreed to put the case on hold until January 30, to await the outcome of the constitutional petition challenging its legality.
Judge Kimondo, however, ordered the suspects to present themselves before a clinical officer at Mathare Mental Hospital for mental assessment.
He pointed out that it would be prejudicial to call upon the suspects to answer the murder charges at this stage before they are examined to satisfy their mental status.
A warrant of arrest was also issued against one of the accused police officers, Mohammed Baa, who failed to turn up in court.
Judge Kimondo directed the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome to apprehend the officer who could not be traced by IPOA officers to effect summons.
The 11 who appeared in court are out on a personal bond of Sh200,000.