John Matara to remain in custody for 7 more days

Murder suspect John Matara held for the gruesome murder of socialite Starlet Wahu at a short-stay – rental apartment in South B Nairobi will remain in custody for an additional seven days.

This is after the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) sought an extension of custodial orders to complete investigations.

The orders were granted on Friday, January 26, by Principal Magistrate Monica Kivuti of the Makadara Law Courts.

The officer investigating the case, Sergeant Alex Chokera told the court that he had submitted the investigations file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) after completing investigations but the ODPP pointed out some areas to be covered.

Matara had been detained for 21 days and Sgt, Chokera sought an extension of the orders to cover areas that the ODPP wanted pursued before charging him.

The ODPP had written a two-page letter to the DCI detailing its findings from the investigations and identifying the gaps in the investigations that should be covered to tighten the evidence against the suspect before charging him.

But Matara opposed the application through his lawyer Samuel Ayora.

Mr Ayora started by lamenting extensively that his client was physically assaulted by an unknown person inside the court premises while still in the custody of the police officers escorting him into the courtroom.

He said his Matara remains unsafe even in the custody of the police adding that during his incarceration at the Industrial Area police station, two people attempted to remove him from the police cells and take him to an unknown place but he luckily resisted the same successfully.

The lawyer said that during Matara’s detention for 21 days, he was only interviewed twice on two different dates by the police and nothing happened for the other 19 days.

Ayora said the 21 days given earlier were enough for the DCI to complete the investigations into the murder adding that the DCI and the ODPP did not disclose the areas of the investigations that were not complete. He was urging Ms Kivuti to reject the application by Sgt. Chokera.

Ms Kivuti however granted the orders and told Mr Ayora to report the assault claim and other complaints to the police for proper investigations to be carried out.

The DCI is investigating a case of murder contrary to section 203 as read with section 204 of the Penal Code but could recommend an additional charge of robbery with violence should the investigations reveal that Matara stole Wahu’s property during the incident.

Wahu’s body was discovered in the rental house where she had checked in with Matara on January 3 and Matara was arrested the next day at the Mbagathi Hospital where he was seeking treatment after sustaining an injury.

He is suspected to have sustained the injury during a scuffle with the deceased inside the AirBnB.

The suspect has been in custody after Ms Kivuti allowed the DCI to detain him as investigations continued.

Matara’s case will be mentioned on February 2 when the DPP is expected to charge the suspect in high court.

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