James Maina Wanjigi skips court date in Nyeri
7 months ago, 5 Mar 10:15
The father of businessman Jimi Wanjigi has failed to appear in a Nyeri court to answer to criminal charges of failing to keep safe custody of his firearm. Mr James Maina Wanjigi, an 86-year-old former Cabinet minister, had been summoned in court by police through office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on March 1. SURGERY However, his lawyer, Mr Kiogora Mugambi, on Monday told Chief Magistrate Wendy Kagendo that Mr Wanjigi senior was unwell. “The accused person in this case had an operation and is recuperating,” Mr Mugambi told the court. "He is not in a position to take plea for close to the next six months. He cannot even be transported to the court because of his health." The lawyer further asked the court to direct the prosecution to supply him with a copy of the charge sheet to help him prepare defence. In response, State Counsel Wesley Nyamache told the court that the six months sought by Mr Mugambi was too long, noting that the lawyer did not have medical documents to back his claim. “No medical records have been produced to show that the accused person is sick and cannot take plea,” Mr Nyamache told the court. “However, when the case investigating officer went to serve the accused with the court summons, he appeared unhealthy.” PISTOL He also disclosed that the office of Director of Public Prosecutions had moved to the Court of Appeal seeking to quash orders that stopped prosecution of businessman Jimi Wanjigi. The magistrate directed the lawyer to produce the medical documents on Mr Maina’s health condition on March 15, when the case will be mentioned. According to the charge sheet, the former Cabinet minister is accused of failing to keep safe custody of his Glock 19 Pistol, contrary to Section 18 (3) as read with Section 18 (4) of the Firearms Act Cap 114 laws of Kenya. He allegedly committed the offence on October 17, 2017. The charge sheet indicates that, he “failed to keep the gun in safe custody, in a safe condition and without reasonable precaution to ensure the weapon is not lost or stolen, and was not at any time available to any person not lawfully entitled to possess it”. The prosecution has lined up six witnesses in the case, including the former Chief Gun Licencing Officer Samuel Kimaru. 4 COUNTS In the same court, a High Court Advocate, Mr Memba Muriuki, was summoned to answer to charges of selling three prohibited firearms and 100 bullets to businessman Wanjigi. Lawyer Mugambi, who also represented Mr Muriuki, said the advocate was not aware of the summons dated March 1. He denied the prosecution’s claims that the accused had disobeyed the summons. The prosecution wanted a warrant of arrest issued against Mr Muriuki who is facing four counts. He is charged with selling a prohibited semi-automatic, self-loading military assault rifle, a mini-Acher, and two other assault rifles, a CQ, on August 12, 2014 and on October 17, 2013, respectively. The charge sheet ...
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