The family of the late Keroche Breweries heiress wants the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji to appoint an independent prosecutor to handle an inquest into the death of their daughter Patricia Tecra Muigai.
Through the mother Tabitha Karanja, the family said after the withdrawal of the charges against Omar Lali, they lost confidence in the DPP. She said Noor should, therefore cease from the matter and appoint an independent prosecutor to handle the case going forward.
The family further opposes DPP’s plan to transfer the inquest from Milimani magistrate court to Lamu. “We oppose the request by the DPP to withdraw the current inquest proceedings from this honourable court,” Karanja said.
She said the decision to withdraw the inquest from Nairobi came as an extreme shock to the family and the move by DPP was whimsical and arbitrary.
“That family of the deceased finds it hard to believe that it is a mere coincidence that there has been the foregoing flip-flopping on the part of the Director of Public Prosecutions evidenced by a decision to charge the key suspect with murder at Garsen Law Courts, followed by a near simultaneous recall of the said decision and the decision to institute the present inquest proceedings at Milimani Law Courts followed by a near simultaneous decision to withdraw the said inquest proceedings from the said courts,” she said.
She said the family no longer has confidence in the DPP handling the matter in strict compliance with the dictates of the constitution and the law.
Karanja said the conduct of the DPP has left the family with many unanswered questions on what extrinsic interest that the DPP may have in the matter.
“That the family of the deceased now strongly believes based on the foregoing conduct of the DPP that he is responding to instructions and or pressure from elsewhere to avoid bringing to account whoever may have been responsible for the death of Patricia Tecra Muigai,” she said in an affidavit.
She said Lali, who is a key suspect in the matter is an influential person among boat owners and operators and beach boys around Lamu Island.
She said that boat transport is the singular most reliable form of transport for accessing Lamu Island hence there is real and well-founded fear in the family that they may not travel to and from the Island to attend and participate in the inquest proceedings, without significant threat to their life and safety.
According to the mother, a number of things have happened in the case since then culminating into the request of the Office of Director of Public Prosecution to the Milimani magistrate court to withdraw the inquest proceedings.
The request was made on Wednesday September 30, 2020 and the family believes the conduct of the DPP is inconsistent with the constitutional and statutory principles that ought to guide the conduct of his office.
Lali was arraigned before a Garsen High Court as directed by the magistrate at Lamu Law Courts and directions were taken that he undergoes psychiatric examination which is a standard procedure antecedent to plea taking in murder charges.
“I am aware from my follow up of this matter that just after conclusion of the psychiatric examination process, my advocates were informed by the officers in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, that there had been a change of mind by the DPP and that the decision to charge had been recalled and a new decision had been made to institute an inquest in the murder,” the family added.