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Trouble for city lawyer as DPP withdraws lenient manslaughter charge

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has withdrawn the manslaughter charge against city lawyer Assa Nyakundi, who is accused of shooting dead his 20-year-old son.

Mr Haji has also called for a review of the evidence in the matter, with a view to charging the lawyer with a more serious offence.

This came after concerns emerged that there could have been deliberate efforts by the investigating officers to cover up the matter by charging the lawyer with a lesser crime.

State Counsel Stella Oyagi on Thursday told Kiambu Principal Magistrate Teresia Nyangena that she had fresh instructions to withdraw the charges, which the lawyer denied last Friday and was freed on a Sh1 million bond or Sh300,000 cash bail.

Mr Nyakundi is accused of killing his last-born son, Mr Joseph Bogonko, on March 17 in unclear circumstances. The lawyer’s wife, Lydia, and eldest son, Noah Nyakuru, are lined up as witnesses.

RECALLED FILES

On Monday, Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti recalled all the investigation files and interdicted several officers in a bid to salvage the case.

The DPP made his intentions to withdraw the case on April 30 via a letter to the court by State Counsel Tom Imbali, who is in charge of the Kiambu station.

“The plea was taken on 26th April, 2019, before Court No 3 and a mention date set for 10th of May, 2019, for pretrial. We, however, wish to get an earlier mention date before the trial for purposes of making an application against the accused person is withdrawn,” said the letter.

But Ms Oyagi told the court that the DPP wanted to retain the mention date, an indication that the matter will come up either for further direction or fresh charges will be brought against the lawyer.

At the heart of the inquiry are two police officers, who are thought to have attempted to bungle the case, and senior officers at the Office of Public Prosecutions who filed the manslaughter charge before they even got the ballistics evidence and postmortem report.

“If they are found culpable during the inquiry, we shall charge them with conspiracy to defeat justice,” Mr Kinoti said.

EMBARRASSED

Both Mr Haji and Mr Kinoti are said to have been embarrassed by the manslaughter charge.

“This is one of those cases on which I was not briefed at all by my officers,” said Mr Kinoti on Tuesday.

“I only learnt of the manslaughter charge from the media. Even the DPP was horrified,” he added.

The file in the Kiambu court does not include scene of crime photographs, a crime scene analysis report, and a ballistics report, which Mr Kinoti says were “intentionally” left out.