Witnesses in Didmus Barasa murder case in fear of testifying - ODPP
Mr. Barasa was on Monday arraigned at the Bungoma Law Courts in an online hearing to face charges of murder.
On Monday, August 16, the ODPP said it had asked for more time during the court hearing to allow for more witnesses including officers from the National Youth Service and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to record statements.
“Prosecution asked for more time to allow more witnesses, including NYS & IEBC officials who were present at Chebukwabi Polling Station, to record statements,” ODPP said.
The prosecution at the same time requested that the MP remains in custody to allow it to engage the Witness Protection Agency (WPA) to protect witnesses “who expressed fear to testify.”
“The detectives also need time to complete & present ballistic and postmortem reports,” the ODPP added.
Didmus Barasa is accused of shooting dead Brian Olunga, an aide of his main rival in the Kimilili MP race Brian Khaemba on the night of the August 9 General Election.
According to a police report, Khaemba went to Chebukwabi polling station at around 6pm on election day to observe the tallying of votes.
He however bumped into Barasa at the polling station and a scuffle soon ensued between the pair, prompting Khaemba to leave the said polling centre.
Khaemba made his way to his vehicle but “Barasa followed him in the company of four men and ordered them not to allow him (Khaemba) to leave…”
Khaemba’s driver is however said to have defied Barasa’s order and ignited the vehicle, prompting the legislator to shoot Olunga on the forehead.
He succumbed to injuries while being taken to the hospital as the legislator went missing for two days before surrendering to the police on Thursday.
Barasa has since distanced himself from allegations that he had knowingly opened fire and killed Olunga in cold blood, instead insisting that the events of the day of the said incident remain blurry even to him.
Meanwhile, the court is set to rule on the prosecution’s application on Tuesday, August 16.
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