A Thika court has reduced bond for the four suspects charged with stealing Ksh.52 million from KCB’s Thika branch.
Chief Magistrate Theresa Murigi on Thursday reduced the bond from Ksh.4Million with two sureties of equal amount to Ksh.2 million with two sureties of similar amount following an application by the defense to have the bond terms reviewed.
Halford Munene, his brother Julius Ndung’u, Charles Mwangi and Shem Karani had failed to raise the bond and were still in police custody.
Lawyer Waithera Mwangi, representing the first three accused, had applied for the review of the bond terms when the matter came for mention of December 14 saying that her clients were unable to raise the bond so as to secure their freedom.
She said that her clients come from a very humble background and cannot raise the amount pleading with the court to grant them a bond that is within their reach.
Waithera argued that her clients are not flight risks since two of them are married and catering for their young families and the third is engaged.
The prosecution, led by state counsel Stella Oyagi objected the application saying that investigation to unearth more offenses committed by the accused persons was still ongoing.
However, a probation report presented in court and conducted by Thika probation officer Esther Munene to guide the court on how the bond terms will be set recommended that the four suspects be released on a bond of Ksh.1 million with a surety of similar amount for each.
The report indicated that parents to the accused persons have endeavored to look for surety of the stated bond with no success. They all pleaded with the court to lower the bond terms and have one surety admitted.
The prosecution however contested the probation recommendation to have the bond terms reviewed downwards saying that it’s upon the court’s discretion to recommend bond terms of the accused persons.
Oyagi told the court that investigations to bring more additional charges are still underway saying that the initial bond terms should be upheld. “Until investigations are completed, the bond terms should remain as they are,” she said.
The court also directed parents of each of the accused to execute a bond of Ksh.1 million under an oath.
Accused persons were also warned that upon release, they must attend all mentions of the case after every fortnight failure to which the bond terms will be cancelled.
The four were also directed to swear an affidavit and disclose their places of abode as well as deposit their passports with the court.
They are also not to leave the court jurisdiction without permission from the court until the matter is heard and determined.
The four were charged with breaking and entering KCB Thika branch through an underground tunnel and stole cash Ksh.52,650,000; 95 Australian dollars, 185 Euros, 1,630 Great Britain pounds, Tsh 271,000, Ush 947,000, 5,781 US dollars, 40 South African Rand and 5 Canadian dollars on diverse dates between November 18 and 20.
The first three accused were also charged with handling stolen property.
The state introduced additional charges to the four suspects where Munene, Mwangi and Ndung’u were charged with being in possession of 200 identity cards, 200 orange sim cards, 1239, MTN sim cards, seven CPUs and 305 telecommunication authority cards suspected to be stolen property.
Karani was charged with being possession of three identity cards also suspected to have been stolen that were found with him in Mtwapa, Mombasa where he was arrested.
The case will come up for mention January 8 2018.
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