Mungiki leader fails to take plea

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation/May 25, 2009

By Margaret Kalekye

Mungiki sect leader Maina Njenga Monday failed to take plea of the 29 counts of murder for the second time after his defense lawyer Paul Muite filed an application for the plea case to be deferred.

Njenga arrived at the high court cells under tight security at around 8.20 am, but could not take plea after his five lawyers led by senior state counsel Paul Muite told the court that they must be submitted with witness statements.

A heavily guarded Njenga arrived in a convoy of over 10 police vehicles bringing activities around the court to a halt.

Njenga who looked composed appeared before high court judge Milton Makhandia and charged along side Paul Muriuki, John Ngune and Patrick Mwangi with murdering 29 people on the night of April 20 and 21 this year, at Gathaithi village in Nyeri East District.

Muite complained that his client is being kept under solitary confinement. "My client is not watching television, listening to radio and visitors are not allowed to see him like other inmates'' Muite told the court.

Other Lawyers included human rights Lawyer Kibe Mungai, Mbiyu Kamau, Evans Ondiek and Robert Asembo

Makhandia set the date for plea on June 2.

Njenga was released last month but later re-arrested in connection with the killing of 29 people in Mathira.

While arresting him, the police, through spokesman Eric Kiraithe said they had credible information that Njenga personally ordered the killings.

He had been sentenced to a total of five years by a Nairobi magistrate on allegations of possessing an illegal firearm and trafficking in drugs.

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