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Sh 50 million Bank Heist Suspects Released 

The three hooded suspects as they appeared at the Thika law courts.




The three suspects charged with the robbery of 50 million shillings from a Thika KCB bank have been released on a Sh 4 million bond each and two surerities of similar amount by a Thika court .

The three, Charles Mwangi Murakaru (30), Halford Munene Murakaru (32) and Julius Wainaina (32) took their plea before Thika chief magistrate Teresia Murigi on Monday November 27, and they all denied the two charges against them.

The two counts included breaking into a Thika bank while the second count was handling stolen property at Joyland Estate Juja within Kiambu County.

The court also ordered the three to deposit their passports to the courts and that they should not leave the courts’ premises without permission.

They were bailed out following an application by the defense counsel Zacky Odegi on Monday, where he applied for the trio to be released on a bond or cash bail.

The Counsel argued that the subject matter (Money) had already been recovered and that the three did not resist arrest and therefore should be bailed out as it was their constitutional right.

However, this was objected by the state counsel Stella Oyagi, who cited an affidavit by the investigating officers that stated that the suspects were planning to leave the country, adding that if released they would interfere with the court proceedings.

Ruling on the bond/bail application, Thika chief magistrate Teresia Murigi stated that there was no evidence tendered before court to show that the release of the three would interfere with the proceedings and that they would be a flight risk once released.

For this reason, the court had no reason to deny or object the application by the three to be released on bond/bail.

Murigi quoted article 49 1(h) stating that accused persons had a constitutional right of being released on bond, unless there is a compelling reason not to grant them.

The case will be heard on 29th March 2018, while the mention will be on 14th Dec 2017.

The court also wants the prosecution to avail documentary evidence, witness statements and a charge sheet to their defense counsel.

The court was jammed with curious onlookers who wanted to catch a glimpse of the three young men who hit the headlines two weeks ago, when they drilled a 30 meters underground tunnel to the bank and escaped with over Sh 50 million.

By the time of going to press frantic efforts were being made by their relatives to raise bail.

 

By Lucy Wangai

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