It is a reprieve for Citizen TV news anchor Jacque Maribe after she was released on cash bail in Monica Kimani’s murder case. In the meantime, her co-accused will remain in custody.
Maribe who is charged alongside her fiance Joseph Irungu alias Jowie was granted a bond of Sh 2 million or alternative cash bail of Sh 1 million and three sureties of the same amount.
The two were charged with the gruesome murder of a 28 year old woman killed on 19th September 2018.
The court also barred Maribe from reading news and interviewing anybody on the case during the trial period.
However, trial judge Justice James Wakiaga declined to release Jowie on bail on grounds tat he is likely to intimidate witnesses and abscond trial.
“The first accused person has portrayed himself publicly as a gun lover hence his actions can intimidate witnesses,” the judge ruled.
It was further ruled that Jowie has no fixed aboard and no evidence was produced in court to show that if released he would have a place to live hence likely to abscond court.
Further, Justice Wakiaga ruled that Jowie has extensively traveled to Middle East with no known assets in the country adding that his willingness to surrender the passport is no guarantee that he will not jump bail .
The court ruled that having shot himself, Jowie remains a danger to himself and the public hence the need for protective custody.
Additionally, he has been allowed to access treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital where the family will be allowed to chip in.
While granting Maribe bail, the judge ruled that there was no evidence adduced to show she is a flight risk or will interfere with witnesses.
“That the 2nd accused shall not make any contact with witnesses either directly or indirectly until the determination of the case,” ruled Justice Wakiaga.
The case will be mentioned 27th November to confirm status of documents and witness statements to be supplied to the defense whereas the hearing of the case will begin on 18th June to 27th 2019.
Maribe’s lawyer Katwa Kigen requested the court to order the release of her personal effects in the hands of police including her phone and car and further informed the court that someone has been accessing the phone and reading emails and whatsApp messages. However, the prosecution objected the same saying that forensic investigations were still ongoing.
Jowie’s lawyer Cliff Ombeta had argued that he is entitled to bail as per the constitution and is innocent until proven guilty. It was further argued that he was not at flight risk and would attend court.
Ombeta also urged the court not to consider the social media pictures since they do not necessarily mean the accused is a bad person.