Citizen Television journalist Jacque Maribe and her co-accused Joseph Irungu alias ‘Jowie’ will remain in custody awaiting their bail ruling set for Tuesday, October 30.
Appearing before Justice James Wakiaga, the two also took plea afresh after the prosecution amended the charge sheet to include other suspects not before court in the Monica Nyawira Kimani murder case.
The Prosecution, led by Catherine Mwaniki, opposed to the releasing of the two on bail or bond saying that they have been charged with a capital offence.
The Prosecution was against Maribe’s return to news-anchoring, saying should she be allowed to broadcast news, she would likely “intimidate” the witnesses.
The Prosecution, however, found it hard convincing the judge how Maribe’s news-anchoring work would amount to intimidation of witnesses.
“Should we order that she shouldn’t be allowed to anchor news on TV, and her employer insists that that was what she was hired to do, and since she can’t do it due to a court order, she gets laid off, who would we blame for that?” posed Justice Wakiaga.
The Prosecution further argued that while investigations are still underway they have already identified the key witnesses whom they say could be influenced by the accused persons.
In their submission, the Prosecution termed Jowie as a flight risk since his nature of work indicates that he has travelled to the Middle East countries on a regular basis.
They further told the court that Jowie has not been cooperating with the police and the information he has given is not true.
As for Maribe, the prosecution said her association with persons of influence held a likelihood that she would interfere and intimidate prosecution witnesses.
Prosecution opposed her release saying that her account given in the affidavit is not entirely truthful and that her argument that she is a single mother and needs to tend to her son is not enough reason, since she has a supportive family that could take care of her child.
“The rights of the accused and the rights of the deceased must be balanced as well as securing the evidence that will be rendered by the Prosecution,” said Ms Mwaniki.
Defense team, led by Katwa Kigen and Cliff Ombeta, however, opposed the Prosecution’s grounds, saying they were not enough to deny their clients bail.
In response to the claim that the accused would interfere with witnesses, the defense termed the interference argument as an assumption and not a fact presented in court.
Earlier on, Justice James Wakiaga ordered that probation officers prepare and submit a pre-bail report before the bail application hearing.
Justice Wakiaga also ruled out and expunged from court records an affidavit filed by an NGO (Empowering Africa Through the Media) which is seeking to participate in the matter.
In his ruling, Justice Wakiaga told the NGO to make a formal application with supporting documents to show why they should be allowed to participate in the case.
Maribe is currently remanded at the Lang’ata Women’s Prison while Jowie remains at the Industrial Area Remand Prison.
Irungu has been in custody since his arrest on the September 25, 2018 while Maribe was arrested on October 1, 2018.