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Economy

Collapsed Huruma flat suspects out on Sh1m bond

Samuel Kamau (right) and Henry Muiruri Huruma flat owners in court. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU
Samuel Kamau (right) and Henry Muiruri Huruma flat owners in court. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU 

Five people charged in connection with the collapsed building in Huruma will each be released on a Sh1 million bond or a cash bail of Sh500,000, a court has ruled.

Principal Magistrate Beatrice Mosiria Wednesday made the ruling in a case in which the prosecution sought detention of the suspects for three weeks pending the conclusion of investigations as police seek to establish all those who should be held culpable and the charges to prefer against them.

The suspects, Samuel Kamau and Henry Muiruri (owners of the collapsed six storey building), Chrispas Sifuma (investigator with the National Construction Authority), Justus Mwendwa (director of Planning Compliance at Nairobi County government) and Seline Anyango (Mathare sub-County administrator of the Nairobi County government).

Ms Mosiria declined a request by the prosecution to have the five accused persons detained for 21 days, saying that the prosecution had not provided compelling reasons why they should not be released on bond.

She said the submissions by the prosecutions that there is a likelihood of them interfering with witnesses cannot be used to prevent release of suspects on bond unless compelling reasons are provided.

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“There was need for the prosecution to explain how such interference will be conducted and the relationship between the accused and the witnesses they may influence. Without this, it is like asking the court to speculate and the argument therefore fails,” Ms Mosiria.

Further, that claim the accused should be kept in prison to guarantee their safety given that the incident aroused public outrage which may be turned on them, is also misguided because the Constitution provides that the state should ensure safety of all the citizens, the magistrate ruled.
“Every accused person has a right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty,” said Ms Mosiria.

She however directed the suspects to deposit their passports in court, report to the police station as shall be advised by investigation officers.

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