Two police officers in Meru will face murder charges after their request, seeking to block the prosecution from arranging them, was thrown out of court.
In a ruling delivered on Monday, Justice Edward Muriithi of Meru Law Courts allowed the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute the two officers attached to Gathong’ora and Githongo Police Stations, respectively.
The two were accused of fatally shooting a man while responding to a distress call from a watchman in March 2016.
Reports alleged that the watchman claimed to have been accosted by robbers, prompting him to sound the alarm. In their court filings, the police also alleged that they opened fire in a bid to rescue the watchman.
The Meru Law Courts
Meru Law Courts
In 2020, the individuals filed a suit seeking to block the prosecution based on findings from the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA).
They argued at the time that six years had passed since they were first arraigned in court and that their impending arrest contravened the principles of the Constitution.
IPOA argued that it opened investigations into the incident following media reports over the incident. It maintained that one of the officers fired the shots that killed the deceased and also injured his colleague.
The authority had also recommended the second officer be charged as an assessor to murder.
Sarah Mwakairu, the deceased’s mother, further lamented that the police counter-lawsuit was an attempt to deny her and her family a chance to obtain justice for the death of her son.
In his ruling, Justice Muriithi concluded that the two officers had failed to demonstrate that the ODPP violated the Constitution by preferring charges against them.
The Court also noted that IPOA was within its right to investigate the death and grievous harm and accorded the duo a chance to defend themselves.
“It is therefore in the interest of the administration of justice that the intended criminal case be promptly instituted and heard on merits,” Justice Muriithi ruled.
An image of a legal scale and a gavel.