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Former City Hall official awarded Sh26m over malicious murder charge

The High Court has awarded former director of planning at the defunct Nairobi City Council Kuria wa Gathoni nearly Sh26 million as damages over malicious prosecution for the death of a foreigner 16 years ago.

Lady Justice Mwihaki Njuguna awarded the monies to Mr Wa Gathoni saying that there was no probable cause for him to be charged hence his prosecution was arbitrary.

The judge pointed out that there were no eyewitnesses presented in court during the murder trial in the death of Mr Charles Yaw Sosah, a Ghanaian who was also an official of the Woodley Estate Residents Welfare Society.

NO WITNESS

“The acknowledgement from the Director of Public Prosecution that there was no witness who placed Mr Wa Gathoni at the scene of the crime during the hearing of the murder case is a clear indication that his prosecution was malicious, arbitrary and obviously contravened his rights and freedoms,” the judge ruled.

The judge awarded him general damages of Sh5 million shillings, special damages Sh6 million, aggravated damages of Sh2 million and a whooping Sh12.9 million for the loss of earnings.

The amount sums up to Sh 25.9million.

Mr Sosah was killed on February 12, 2001 and Mr Wa Gathoni together with businessman Kimani Kongo were accused of the murder.

The two were tried before Justice Robert Mutito but were a later acquitted on September 8, 2003, nearly two years later.

SEEK REPRIEVE

In his pursuit to seek reprieve for losing his job, name and hard times his family went through, Mr Wa Gathoni sued the Commissioner of Police and the Attorney General while seeking compensation.

He had presented himself to the Kilimani police station with a view of clearing his name since he was adversely linked to the murder of Mr Sosah, but instead, he was arrested and detained at the Kileleshwa police station before later being arraigned in court.

He was also detained at Kamiti Maximum prison for 937 days.

In his compensation suit, he had argued that the incarceration as well as prosecution was an abuse of Court process and unlawful.