The Sharon Otieno murder case where Migori Governor Okoth Obado is a key suspect is set for mention on Monday after an almost 3-year delay.
The latest request by the Governor to postpone the case has sparked reactions with Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji saying the prosecution will strongly oppose any delay tactics.
It is three years since the murder of Sharon Otieno, a 26-year-old Rongo University student, which sent shock waves across the country in September 2018; her mutilated body was found in Rachuonyo in Homa Bay County.
Governor Obado, a key suspect in the case, in a letter dated June 28 through his lawyer, sought postponement of the trial.
The letter reads, in part; “My client is unable to travel outside the COVID-19 hotspot zone. Accordingly, we request the case be mentioned virtually on Monday, the 5th July 2021 for the purpose of fixing fresh hearing dates, hopefully at a time when the threat of COVID–19 has substantially subsided.”
DPP Haji said his office will strongly oppose any further adjournment: “In relation to Obado’s plea we are going to strongly oppose it is evident that the individuals have been involved in many activities that do not support their assertions of COVID-19.”
The DPP further asserting that the murder trial is a pivotal stage and has to proceed in the interest of justice, hence rubbishing Obado’s application made through his attorney Kioko Kilukumi.
“This issue of Obado seeking adjournment has been one of the tactics by most of the defence counsels who see the value in delaying justice and hearings, as ODPP we are going to stamp our authority and argue very passionately against it,” said Haji.
The hearing was initially set to start in March last year but was adjourned upon the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country which also consequently led to the courts scaling down operations.
The prosecution is keen to see the trial of Governor Obado and his co-accused Casper Obiero and Michael Juma Oyamo proceed.
The prosecution team has lined up 37 witnesses who will testify against the governor and his co-accused.
Sharon disappeared on September 3, 2018 and was found brutally murdered two days later, her body dumped near Kodera forest.
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