High Court stops prosecution of Mombasa Magistrate over missing heroin exhibit

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Mombasa High Court has temporarily stopped the prosecution of a Mombasa Law Courts Principal Magistrate over missing Sh 30 million worth of heroin.

Justice Reuben Nyakundi also ordered the release of PM Kagoni Edgar Matsigulu who was set to be charged to day alongside three other judicial officers.

The magistrates was ordered to pay a cash bail of Sh 20,000.

This is after the Kenya Judges and Magistrates Association (KJMA) filed a case seeking to block Director of Public Prosecution from charging magistrate.

The heroin was used as exhibit in a drug trafficking case handled by the magistrate whereby he found the accused person guilty and sentenced him to 30 years in prison with a fine of Sh 90 million.

Through lawyers lawyer Dunstan Omari and Shadrack Wambui, the association wanted the court to issue a conservatory order restraining DPP from charging the magistrate pending hearing and determination of the application.

Edgar is expected to be charged at JKIA court alongside court clerk Onesmus Miranda Momanyi, Abdalla Abubakar in charge of exhibits and a support staff Lawrence Thoya Bayan with conspiracy to defeat justice, interference with witnesses and stealing by person employed in the public service.

The association argues that unless the court moves with speed and stop arraignment the Magistrate on the basis of the DPP’s spurious allegations, the independence of Judges and Magistrates and all other judicial officers will be threatened by the DPP.

The association argued that, the criminal charges against their colleague arise out of his orders or exercise of judicial authority in a criminal case no. 468 of 2018 republic vs Hussein Madison Eid and two others where the said accused person were charged with trafficking of 10.002 kilograms of heroin.

On 11th June this year, the Principal Magistrate convicted Hussein Eid for trafficking narcotic drugs and sentenced him to 30 years imprisonment and in addition fined him 90 million.

He further ordered the money amounting to 600,000 alleged to be counterfeit found in possession of the convict at the time of arrest be returned to him.

However, between June 28 and July 26, the said exhibit of 10.002kg heroin which the embattled magistrate had ordered to be kept under lock and key in the exhibit tore was reported missing.

Following the sudden disappearance of the exhibits, Mombasa Law Court Chief Magistrate Makori filed a complaint and requested Directorate of Criminal Investigation to institute investigations in order to establish the person culpable.