A police officer accused of murdering a boda boda rider in Kwale County four years ago will now be charged a fresh after his co-accused was listed as a prosecution witness.
Administration Police Constable Yunus Athman Ali is accused of murdering Maitha Omar in Mwenza Village, Likoni, Kwale County in 2018.
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority, IPOA, filed an affidavit against the release of the suspect on bond, as it is also investigating him for the murder of a prosecution witness, Albert Wekesa, a boda boda rider last year.
Albert’s body was found dumped in Dongo Kundu Road in Kwale County.
On Thursday, Yunus Athman Ali denied the murder charges before Lady Justice Anne Ong’injo at the Mombasa High Court.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions listed Yunus’s co-accused Mohammed Karega Kassim, as a prosecution witness and will now testify in the trial.
The ODPP said Yunus will remain remanded at the Shimo la Tewa Maximum Prison awaiting a court ruling on his bond application.
Before his arraignment, IPOA carried out investigations into the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of Mr Maitha and established that there was sufficient evidence to link his murder to the accused.
The investigation file was forwarded to the ODPP who recommended PC Yunus Athman and Mohamed Karega be charged with the offence of murder contrary to section 203 and read with section 204 of the penal code.
On 24th May 2022 the two suspects were arraigned in high court Mombasa to answer charges of murder, where they both pleaded not guilty.
On 22nd December 2022 the prosecutor Vivian Kabaga called the investigating officer and informed him that the ODPP intends to convert Mohamed Karega to prosecution, and that Mr Karega had agreed to record a new statement in regard to the fatal shooting of Maitha Omar. The new statement was recorded on the same material day and supplied to the prosecutor.
The matter was scheduled for mention on 7th February 2023 where the accused, Mr Yunus and his defence counsel appeared online. The defence Counsel pleaded with the court to reduce the bail term of his client but IPOA and the prosecutor vehemently opposed the request. As a result, the court adjourned the matter to 8th February 2023 with instruction that the IO to file opposing affidavit.
On 8th February 2023 , the matter was called up whereby the prosecutor informed the court the intention to convert the second accused to a prosecutions witness. The court agreed with the prosecutor’s request and immediately discharged Mohamed Karega from being an accused to a prosecution witness.
Consequently, the charge was read afresh to Yunus Athuman with amended information doing away with information (charge) that jointly charged the duo with the murder.
On the other hand, an opposing bail affidavit was filed by the prosecution whereby the defence were given time to reply.
IPOA is still investigating the murder of the prosecution witness Albert Wekesa.