Court will deliver a ruling on Thursday 19th on whether to detain three hospital staff arrested in connection with the child trafficking cases in Nairobi that was aired on BBC for a further ten days.
Senior Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi ruled that the submissions by the suspects’ lawyers were lengthy and therefore needed time to write the ruling.
The suspects, Makallah Fred Leparan, Emma Mutio (hospital Superintendent) and Regina Musembi (administrator) who are employees of Mama Lucy Kibaki hospital were arrested on 17th November 2020 on suspicion of engaging in child trafficking contrary to section 4(1)(a) (3) of the counter trafficking in person act of 2010.
The alleged offence was broadcasted on BBC news on 16th November 2020 and from the said broadcast Leparan is seen negotiating with an undercover journalist in a well planned plot to sell a child who had been abandoned at the said Mama Lucy hospital.
The police want the court to grant them orders to detain the three for ten more days in order to complete investigations.
“The suspects’ fixed places of abode are not yet known and therefore are potential flight risk if released before investigations are completed”, said Chief Inspector Wanga Masike.
Leparan is seen receiving a substantial sum of money after handing over three abandoned children to the journalist. The children were later found at Imani rehabilitation agency.
Mutio and Musembi are believed to have aided Leparan in the commission of the said crime.
The police believe that this is a well organised criminal gang that is operating within the country whose other players are yet to be established. The court heard that a search is ongoing for several other children believed to have been trafficked.
According to the police, the suspects hold crucial information and the potential to interfere with investigations if released on bond before being charged.
The respondents’ lawyers objected to the application to detain their clients on grounds that the prosecution did not table compelling reasons to warrant their detention.
Lawyer Danstan Omari who represents the Superintendent and the administrator said Mutio was transferred to Mama Lucy on 2nd June after the alleged incident took place.
“She has not even handed over at Mbagathi Hospital where she was,” added Omari.
The court heard that the suspects can not interfere with investigations as they mainly rely on DNA testing.
Omari stated that we are not under colonial rule that we are following something being pushed on the interest of foreigners.
“Are we mere puppets that upon receiving foreign investigations we move with speed? I urge this court that there are no compelling reasons given by the state for further detention of the accused persons,” the lawyer submitted.