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Verdict looms for man accused of Killing Isiolo-based activist

By Gerald Mukembu,

In a gripping courtroom drama, the fate of Patrick Naweet, the man accused of fatally stabbing Isiolo-based human rights activist Elizabeth Ekaru, hangs in the balance.

The Meru High Court presided over by Judge Edward Murithi, heard compelling arguments from both sides. Defence lawyer Hillary Mugambi passionately asserted Naweet’s innocence, claiming that the act was an act of self-defence provoked by circumstances. Zainab Kombo, representing the deceased’s family, stood resolute as the lead counsel.

Prosecution Counsel Erick Masila painted a vivid picture of the crime scene, emphasizing the excessive force used by the accused.

The multiple injuries inflicted on Ekaru’s thighs and hands, he argued, indicated that she had desperately shielded herself from repeated attacks.

Masila cited consistent and credible testimony from several witnesses, all pointing to Naweet’s culpability.

The defence invoked customary law, urging the court to consider the context where men oppress women, an argument Masila dismissed as unreasonable.

He maintained that the excessive force employed by Naweet was neither necessary nor reasonable.

Mugambi countered, suggesting that manslaughter, not murder, should be the charge. According to him, the accused had been choked by the deceased before resorting to his weapon. He criticized the incomplete police investigation regarding the disputed land ownership.

Witness Vincent Mutua, a DCI officer, provided crucial evidence. His photographs captured the aftermath of the incident, revealing a blood-stained knife hidden in the thicket.

Dr. Mohammed Abdikadir, who conducted the postmortem, testified about Ekaru’s extensive injuries. Her brain had a 10cm-deep wound, her thigh a 20cm cut, and her right hand another wound. Major blood vessels were affected, leading to fatal bleeding.

As the court awaits the DNA results from the Government Chemist, the question remains: Was Naweet acting in self-defence or committing murder? The verdict, set for July 25, 2024, will determine the fate of both the accused and victim

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