The Lamu law courts on Wednesday refused to extend the pre-trial detention of Omar Lali 54,the key suspect in the death of his girlfriend, Keroche Breweries heiress Tecra Karanja.
Lali was released on Sh300,000 bond.
This follows the expiry of the 21 day pre-trial detention period on Tuesday.
On May 4, the court agreed to grant police 21 days to detain Lali at the Lamu police station to allow for comprehensive investigations into the death of Tecra following his arrest on May 3.Keroche heiress: Mysterious Omar in cell for 21 daysKnown for his sweet tongue and acting the perfect gentleman.News3 weeks ago
This was a day after Tecra was pronounced dead at a Nairobi hospital where she had been airlifted after a mysterious accident in Lamu.
Following the end of the 21-day holding period, the police were to submit a report on their findings, after which the court was to give further directions on whether or not to continue holding Lali.
However, while appearing in court via video conference,the DPP and the DCI applied to be allowed to detain Lali for an additional seven days.
In their argument, the two offices stated that they still wanted Lali to accompany them to the Jaha House in Shella, where the accident that killed Tecra took place.
That would have been the fourth time the suspect was being taken to the accident scene since his arrest.
However, Lamu principal magistrate Allan Temba refused to allow any further detention of Lali on various ground,s among them being the fact that police had already visited the crime scene three times with the suspect who had fully cooperated.
The magistrate noted that it would be too much to keep Lali in the cells just so police can revisit the crime scene.
The court also insisted that the 21 days that had lapsed were more than sufficient for investigations and that no conclusive evidence had been found to enable the DPP decide whether or not to press charges.
The court equally argued that the pending phone extraction exercise wasn’t a process that requires further detention of Lali.
Also,the court observed that the pending toxicology analysis doesn’t require Lali to be further detained as Tecra’s samples had already been collected and were being analysed independent of Lali.
It also noted that police had agreed that Lali wasn’t an immediate danger to the community and the community itself hadn’t posed any danger to the suspect and thus giving him bond would not pose a security risk either way.
“Lali has no capacity to interfere with witnesses as he actually doesn’t know who they are,” said Temba.
Tecra,the last born child of Keroche Breweries owners Joseph Karanja and Tabitha Karanja, was in a relationship with 54-year-old Lali with whom she was staying at a rented cottage in Shella town before the accident happened.
Lali told detectives that Tecra fell down a flight of stairs and hurt her head.
He has been quoted as saying he has immense and genuine love for Tecra and thus wouldn’t have hurt her and that what happened was purely an accident.
An autopsy conducted by chief government pathologist Johansen Oduor two weeks ago revealed that Tecra died as a result of trauma to the left side of her head consistent with a fall.
Tecra was laid to rest on May 16 during a private ceremony at their Naivasha home attended by 100 people, among them ODM leader Raila Odinga and his wife Ida Odinga, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetan’gula and Vihiga Senator George Khaniri.