Television journalist Jacquie Maribe and fiancé Joseph Irungu shared a bench in court yesterday after 10 days apart in custody, but did not utter a word to each other.

Confessed lovers-turned-suspects, the two did not glance at each other even once.

Maribe looked emotional and kept wiping sweat that ran down her face.

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A few centimetres away sat Irungu, steel and emotionless, as lawyers shuffled around the courtroom before the judge arrived.

Maribe chatted briefly with her mother and at one point, her father leaned over and whispered into her ears in the dock.

Maribe placed a hand on her dad’s forehead, which he reciprocated as parental love played out in court.

The Milimani court was packed to capacity as Maribe and Irungu were arraigned to answer to charges of murdering Monica Nyawira Kimani in her Kilimani apartment on September 19.

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Maribe arrived in a silver Nissan Tida car minutes after 8am accompanied by her lawyer, Katwa Kigen.

She wore blue jeans, black shoes and a black and white patterned top.

Five minutes later, a silver double cabin car arrived with Irungu.

He wore black trousers and a white shirt. His left arm was in a sling. At 9.30am the court clerk called out their names.

However, the two did not answer to the charges.

Jacque Maribe and Jowie in court
Ms. Maribe in court

The prosecution asked for Maribe to have a psychiatric assessment, a normal procedure for murder suspects.

It determines if they are of sound mind and capable of standing trial.

Lawyer Cliff Ombeta, representing Irungu, alias Jowie, asked the court to order his client be taken to hospital as he needed urgent medical attention.

He said Jowie had a serious gunshot wound to his left shoulder.

Irungu said in his application;

During my 10 days’ stay at Muthaiga police station I was taken to the hospital twice and doctors advised that if the wound is not properly treated, I risk having my arm amputated.

He said he had been referred to the Kenyatta National Hospital but the prosecution rejected the doctor’s advice.

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Irungu also sought to be released on bail “because he is innocent,” his application said.

He said he doesn’t know the witnesses in the case and therefore will not interfere with them.

Maribe’s lawyer, Katwa Kigen, opposed the request for more time for a psychiatric assessment.

He wanted her to plead to the murder charge.

He said the psychiatric test could be done in the morning and she would enter a plea in the afternoon — to avoid long remand.

Justice Jesse Lessit directed Maribe to be taken for a mental assessment and Irungu to be treated at Kenyatta National Hospital before returning to court on Monday.

Maribe will be remanded at Langata Women’s Prison. Irungu will be held at Industrial Area.


Credits: The Star