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New twist in Meru blogger Sniper's murder case as ODPP, DCI trade blame

ODPP, DCI trade blame over delays in Meru blogger Sniper's murder case

Meru-based blogger Bernard Muthiani alias Sniper

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution has responded to accusations of delaying the prosecution of a suspect arrested over the murder of Meru-based blogger Bernard Muthiani alias Sniper.

The ODPP has been under pressure to take action, with Dennis Itumbi accusing the office of delays.

"So, a suspect in the abduction of Sniper was arrested, but ODPP did not give directions on how to proceed. DCI told court they were waiting for DPP. Why the delay Mr. DPP? Why is DPP silent internally and publicly?" Itumbi posted the on social media.

In a statement on Wednesday, December 27, the ODPP blamed the Directorate of Criminal Investigation for not submitting the investigation file for action.

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In its response, the ODPP said that following the abduction of Daniel Muthiani Bernard, one Vincent Muriithi Kirimi also known as Supuu Wa Mioro (suspect) was arrested on suspicion of the offence of abduction.

Owing to the fact that the whereabouts of abducted person was unknown, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), through the ODPP filed Criminal Miscellaneous application No. E116 of 2023 seeking custodial orders pending completion of investigations.

The Chief Magistrate's court in Maua, Meru County, declined to grant custodial orders as sought by the DCI through the ODPP but instead granted the suspect a cash bail of Sh20,000 and ordered the suspect to report to the police station every 14 days.

The court also set the application for mention on 5th January, 2024.

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Subsequently, the body of the abducted person was recovered dead. Following the recovery of the body of the abducted person, the ODPP directed the DCI to undertake investigations for the offence of murder and submit the inquiry file for perusal and further directions.

"The ODPP has not received the inquiry file into the offence of murder to date," the statement read in part.

"Upon receipt of the inquiry file for murder and any other charges disclosed by the evidence gathered, the ODPP shall give appropriate directions in accordance with the law," the statement added.

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An autopsy done on the body revealed that the blogger met his death after being strangled on the neck.

According to Government pathologist Johansen Oduor who conducted the postmortem, the deceased had marks on his neck and exhibited signs of lacking oxygen prior to death, pointing to the direction of being strangled to death.

The autopsy was conducted on Friday, December 22, at the Marimanti Level 4 Hospital Mortuary.

Sniper also suffered fractured ribs and had several injuries on his neck, which, according to the autopsy, suggest that he was strangled to death and then thrown into a river.

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The body was found with no signs that the blogger attempted to defend himself from his attackers, an indication that he may have been subdued to a level that he could do little in self-defence.

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