Ex-Ruaraka top cop Mutua loses appeal - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Ex-Ruaraka top cop Mutua loses appeal

 

The Court of Appeal has declined to interfere with a death sentence imposed on former Ruaraka police station boss Nahashon Mutua for the murder an inmate five years ago.

Justices Hannah Okwengu, Mohamed Warsame and Agnes Murgor said the sentence imposed by the trial judge was legal and sufficient because of the impunity with which the offence was committed.

“Having considered and analysed the evidence as a whole, we come to the conclusion that there was sufficient evidence before the trial court upon which a conclusion could be drawn that Mutua was the person who inflicted the fatal injuries on Martin [Koome]. His action was no doubt unlawful,” they said.

They ruled that the injuries inflicted on Martin Koome were life-threatening and Mutua knew inflicting the injuries would cause grievous harm or death.

“The charge against Mutua was proved beyond reasonable doubt and he was properly convicted of the offence of murder,” the appellate judges said.  

In February last year, trial judge Stella Mutuku sentenced Mutua to death. She found that the injuries suffered by Koome which included severe injuries to the head, neck, face, eight broken ribs on the right side, five broken ribs on the left, and bleeding on the brain were a clear indication that Mutua struck Koome several times with force.

A senior police officer, Mutua knew or ought to have known that such repeated assault on Koome with a metal bar on sensitive areas would cause death or grievous harm.

Koome was arrested in his house by officers from Ruaraka police station. He was locked up at the police station. The next morning, he was found with serious injuries and had to be rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital, where he succumbed to the injuries.

Mutua appealed the sentence, citing contradictory evidence, motive, investigations by IPOA, failure to call independent witnesses among other reasons.

The appellate judges said what was in dispute was where and how Koome sustained the fatal injuries that led to his death.

Some prosecution witnesses claimed that before he was put in the cells, Mutua assaulted Koome for 30 minutes using a metal rod on the face and head, while forcing him to immerse himself into a drum. 

But Mutua denied assaulting Koome and claimed he was placed in the cells immediately after being brought to the police station. He said Koome was attacked by one of the inmates.

“There are two different versions regarding how Martin may have sustained his injuries. But what is clear is that the incident occurred at the police station at night,” he said.

The judges said police officers who were on duty that night included two prosecution witnesses. Only one corporal maintained that Mutua did not beat Koome.

He implied that there was a commotion in the cells and that when they reopened the cells, they found Victor Kioko (a suspect in the cells) lying on the floor and Koome leaning against the wall holding his head and stomach.

But the judges said it was inconceivable that two suspects could have inflicted such serious injuries in the cells just next to the report office without the police officers intervening and getting to the bottom of the matter.

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