Twelve police officers who are facing murder charges over the death of Baby Pendo were on Monday, November 14, released without taking a plea.
The officers were released on a personal bond of Ksh200,000, but asked to return to court on November 21, to stand trial.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the victims’ lawyers led by Willis Otieno brought to the attention of the judge that only nine out of twelve suspects were in court.
They included Titus Yoma (former Commissioner of Police and Retired County Commander), John Masha (GSU Inspector and platoon commander), Benjamin Koima (Retired AP Senior Superintendent), James Rono (Chief Inspector), Mohamed Guyo (Chief Inspector), Benjamin Loreman (Kenya Prisons Service), Volker Edambo (Inspector in charge of Crime Kisii) and Cyprine Wankio (Chief Inspector).
Photo of Baby Pendo who died in 2017.
The Standard Three of police officers namely Linah Kogey (Inspector and Post Commander, Nyalenda), Mohamed Guyo (Chief Inspector) and Mohamed Baa Amin (Station Commander, Kondele) failed to appear in court
The nine were released after making a personal undertaking to court, committing that they will appear in court for plea taking.
Judge Ogemba issued the orders after dismissing their application in which they faulted the DPP for shielding the Inspector General of Police from prosecution.
The officers had applied to have the matter deferred for two months to allow the determination of a constitutional petition in the matter.
However, the judge refused to allow their application, noting that their challenge had no basis.
“No prejudice will be suffered by the suspects if plea is taken at this stage as they pursue the constitutional matter in other courts. I note this matter has been in court for the last five years.
“In balancing the constitutional right of the suspects and those of the victims it is proper and fair to take plea. I hereby direct the suspects to appear in court on Monday, November 21 for plea taking,” Justice Ogemba ruled.
According to the Judge, there was no order or stay from the High Court or any other superior court barring the suspects from taking plea.
The death of a six-month-old Samantha Pendo in the hands of police has become a symbol of Kenya Police brutality and bloodbath that characterised the 2017 post election violence.
The little Baby Samantha Pendo died after a contingent of police officers raided their home in Kisumu and clobbered her to death.
An autopsy revealed that Baby Pendo’s death was caused by acute head injuries and a cracked scalp as a result of brutal force by the police.
Kenya Police officers during a pass out parade.
File died death violence murder suspect