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Judge finds Jowie Irungu guilty of Monica Kimani's murder [Live Blog]

Jacque Maribe and Jowie Irungu in court for the judgment on Monica Kimani murder case

Jacque Maribe and Jowie Irungu in court during a past hearing

In a highly anticipated verdict, the High Court is delivering its judgment on the Monica Kimani murder case, marking a significant milestone in a saga that has captivated the nation for years.

This case, involving the tragic demise of businesswoman Monica Kimani, has seen twists and turns that have kept the public and media on the edge of their seats.

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09:30

Judge Grace Nzioka begins court proceedings to deliver the High Court judgement in the case of Monica Kimani's 2018 murder where Joseph Kuria ‘Jowie’ Irungu and journalist Jacque Maribe are first and second respondents.
“The particulars of the offence the two accused persons are charged with is that on the night of September 19, 2018 at an unknown time in Lamuria Gardens Apartments… in Kilimani area within Nairobi County, jointly with others not within the court, murdered one Monica Nyawira Kimani. The charge was read to each accused person and they pleaded ‘not guilty’ and the case proceeded to hearing.”

9:36

The Prosecution case and evidence from court records:-

  1. KQ flight/span manifestCCTV footage and a passport indicated that Monica Kimania travelled from Juba, where she worked and resided, to Nairobi JKIA on September 19, 2018. A taxi driver confirmed picking Monica at the airport and dropping her at Lamuria Gardens Apartments.

  2. A protected witness [a guard at Lamuria] confirmed Monica picked her keys from the security office and went to her apartment. The protected witness further testified that Monica was visited by 4 visitors on the night of her murder:-
    A male visitor who arrived in a taxi dressed in a white kanzu and produced an ID as Dominic Bisera Haron.
    Lee Owen who testified that he found Mr Waridi [Monica’s neighbour] and 'Joe' [Dominic Bisera Haron] who was introduced as a security officer with Interpol and Office of the President at Monica’s apartment.
    Andrew Kaka testified that he visited Monica’s apartment but Monica opted to meet him at the parking lot.

  3. Lee Owen: Mr Waridi was first to leave and he [Lee] left after the neighbour leaving the visitor introduced as ‘Joe’ in Monica's. The protected witness who was a security guard at Lamuria testified that Dominic Bisera Haron (Joe) was the last to leave Monica’s apartment and no one else went to the apartment.

  4. George Kimani (Monica’s brother) testified that Monica intended to visit her mum on the following day before travelling to Dubai and when she failed to make the visit and answer numerous calls he and his girlfriend went over to Lamuria Gardens. Corroborated by a caretaker and gardener, Monica’s front door was locked. The gardener was instructed to get a ladder because the apartment could be accessed from the balcony and that is when Monica’s body was discovered in the bathtub.

09:46

6. Corporal Jenniffer Sirwa: Processed the scene and took 50 photographs produced in court as evidence.
7. Police investigations revealed several people had visited Monica on the day of her murder while Mr Waridi and Lee Owen confirmed to George Kimani that they had visited Monica and identified ‘Joe’.
8. George Kimani: Had known ‘Joe’ since 2012 at Kenya Polytechnic and knew that his fiancee was working in the media. He approached ‘Joe’ for assistance in having his sister’s death publicised but Joe stated that the media would not help but offered his private security company to investigate.
9. Lang’ata police investigations: Joe had earlier made an incident report that he had been involved in a shooting and the team investigating Monica’s murder got interested and took over both investigations.
10. Chief Inspector Otieno: There were contradictory statements on how the shooting incident occurred which eventually led to Joe and Maribe being arrested.
Jowie Irungu was positively identifed as 'Joe' by 3 witnesses.
Maribe was arrested because she was within the vicinity of the murder, her car was used and it is considered aiding and abetting the offence. She also gave false information with the intention to divert police investigations. In addition, burning of the items believed to have been used in commission of the offence constituted to aiding and abetting a crime.

10:20

Judge says that the prosecution proved the occurrence of the murder of Monica Kimani and the defence did not dispute the occurrence of a murder.
Further, the court holds that the prosecution proved that Monica Kimani died as a result of neck injuries caused by sharp force trauma

10:26

Judge Grace Nzioka says that the prosecution proved that Monica Kimani's death was not natural or through an accident and thus was an unlawful homicide.
Further, that the defence argued that the straps used to tie Monica Kimani had DNA of three men. The defence claims Monica Kimani was murdered by the two unknown men whose DNA was found.

10:40

Issues for determination:

Did the 1st accused (Jowie Irungu) know Monica Kimani?

Did the 1st accused steal an ID card to access Monica Kimani's house?

Did the clothes he was wearing implicate him in the offence?

Was he in Monica Kimani's house?

Was he the last person to leave the house?

Was he positively identified on the identification parade?

Did the prosecution provide enough evidence that the accused murdered Monica Kimani.

10:44

Did the 1st accused (Jowie Irungu) know Monica Kimani?
Jowie Irungu told the court that he did not know Monica Kimani.

Monica Kimani's brother George Kimani said that Jowie Irungu knew her and was at Monica's house during a past party.

George Kimani produced text messages between Monica Kimani and Jowie Irungu.

Prosecution cited a video showing Jowie at Monica's house prior to her death. The prosecution did not provide the said video.

A police officer and data analyst attached to Safaricom testified that on September 1, 2018 Jowie called Monica at DOD, Langata.

The judge holds that based on the above evidence, Jowie's testimony that he did not know Monica Kimani was not accurate.

10:52

Did the 1st accused steal an ID card to access Monica Kimani's house?

On September 17, 2018, Dominic Bisera Haron's ID went missing at the Royal Park gate where Jowie and Maribe live. There is evidence that the person who visited the deceased's house on December 19, 2018, produced an ID in the name of Dominic Bisera Haron. A witness (watchman) identified the first accused person (Jowie) as Dominic Bisera Haron.

10:58

Did the clothes he was wearing implicate him in the offence?

Court holds that there is corroborative evidence as to the clothes which Jowie was wearing on the day Monica died.

11:19

Was Jowie in Monica Kimani's house?
Judge holds that according to a police officer's evidence, the car Jowie was driving, belonging to Maribe, was in the vicinity of Monica Kimani's house on the material date.
Judge adds that this corroborates a neighbour's testimony that he spotted Jowie in the vicinity of Monica Kimani's house.

11:23

Was the 1st accused the last person to leave Monica Kimani's house?

Court holds that the first accused person was the last person to leave the house

11:26

Was the 1st accused person in possession of a gun?
Court holds that the 1st accused person was in possession of a gun on the material day. A witness testified that the 1st accused had borrowed a gun for a refresher training but failed to return it on the due date.
Another witness said the 1st accused had a gun on the car he was driving on the material day.

11:29

Was the 1st accused positively identified on the identification parade?
Court holds that the identification parade was not properly conducted and cannot be used to decide whether the 1st accused is guilty.

11:36

Judge says the 2nd accused person (Jacque Maribe) was arrested because her vehicle was used in the murder was hers, she switched off her phone when the offense was committed, she gave false information to the police about the shooting incident.

11:45

Jacque Maribe denied knowing Monica Kimani, had no motivation to murder the deceased. She argued that only male persons were seen at Kimani's house.

She also argued that she had an alibi about her whereabouts on the material day.

11:48

Maribe admitted to cohabiting with the 1st accused person and helping him with his gunshot wound. She argued that she offered help due to her relationship with the 1st accused, right to health care and that a gun shot wound is not a matter to take lightly.

11:51

Jowie reported on Sep 21, 2018 that as he was going home at Royal Park Estate, he was shot by thugs. Maribe also wrote a statement in support of that report on Sep 28, 2018.

On Sep 29, 2018 Maribe retracted what she had said about the shooting incident. She claimed the shooting happened in their house.

The owner of the gun testified that Jowie went to his house groaning in pain and asked him to rush to the house and secure the gun which he did.

The owner said he found blood on the floor. Maribe's house help also testified that she saw blood in the house on the night of the shooting.

11:58

Court finds that the statement made by Jowie about being shot by thugs was inaccurate.

12:10

Was the murder premeditated?

Court finds that Jowie stole the ID used to access Monica Kimani 2 days before the murder.

The evidence reveals that Jowie carried a bag which he had a Kanzu. He wore that Kanzu before the commission of the crime.

Evidence shows that the 1st accused borrowed a gun which he failed to return to the owner on the agreed date.

According to the autopsy, Monica Kimani's airwave had been shot through and through. 
The carotid and jugular had been cut through and through.
Police officer said that the way the the murder was executed pointed to some form of military training. Court finds that the 1st accused was trained in security matters. 

Court holds that based on the above evidence, the murder was premeditated.

12:27

Court finds 1st accused person Jowie Irungu guilty of the murder of Monica Kimani on September 19 at Lamuria Gardens.

12:27

Judge Grace Nzioka acquits Jacque Maribe

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