• Owuor was one of the suspects in the Sh72 million Nairobi West ATM heist that took place in 2019.

• Detectives apprehended the three at Kayole Police Station and detained them at Capital Hill Station as investigations into the case continued. 

premises
Milimani Law Courts premises
Image: The-Star

Four police officers were on Tuesday charged with the murder of a man suspected to be a mastermind of Sh72million ATM heist.

The officers, Corporal Joseph Ojode Obama and constables Henry Mutai, Bashir Ali and Charles Kirimi appeared before High court judge Jacinta Nzioka and denied the charges.

According to the charge sheet, the four allegedly killed Wycliffe Owour on March 24, 2020, at Kayole Junction in Kayole.

Owuor was one of the suspects in the Sh72 million Nairobi West ATM heist that took place in 2019.

The plea was taken virtually.

In court, before the accused took a plea, the prosecution had not filed a mental assessment report, claiming the accused persons were arrested on Monday morning. They requested more time.

The accused, through their lawyer Danstan Omari, however, informed the court that they were mentally fit to take a plea.

"Your honour my clients request the court to be exempted from undergoing mental assessment as there is no law that provides for that and they will not question the report in their defence or anywhere during the trial," Omari told the court.

The prosecution opposed the application and said that each case should be observed individually for it has its own merits. 

"It's our opinion that mental assessment is conducted to suspects as it helps the court which is beneficial to all parties in the trial," the prosecution said.

Justice Nzioka said a requirement of mental assessment is a matter of practice and not of law.

She added that to protect the prosecution case, it must be clear that the defence not will wake up and raise an issue of insanity during the trial. 

"Assessment is part of the investigations but if the accused said they are mentally fit and don't need it then it's their choice," she said. 

The judge understood the fears of the prosecution but said the order of the court was more powerful as she had put it in writing. 

She directed the matter to be mentioned before the trial court on June 21 for application of bond pending a hearing on October 17.

The four officers have been remanded at Nairobi's remand home.

The arrests were effected following recommendations by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), who ordered an investigation into an extra-judicial killing.

Owuor was suspected to have been assassinated by the accused. 

On Monday, June 6, detectives apprehended the three at Kayole Police Station and detained them at Capital Hill Station as investigations into the case continued. 

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) claimed that Owuor was gunned down on March 24, 2020, after a fierce shootout between him and the police. At the time, Owuor was out on a Sh500,000 bond. 

The gang defied orders to surrender, engaging the officers in a fire exchange which left the said suspect down. 

The victim was alleged to have orchestrated the bank heist with the aid of rogue police officers. 

They stated that Owuor had offered to corporate with the officers during their arrests.

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