The high court in Mombasa on Monday acquitted three men who had been accused of murdering a British couple in October 2009.
Daniel Musyoka Muasya, his brother Paul Mutui Muasya and Walter Otieno were set free after the judge, Mourine Odero, ruled that the prosecution had failed to present sufficient evidence to meet the threshold for a conviction.
The three were known friends to the slain couple, Antony Joel and Rita Marion Joel who were frequent visitors to the country, and whose badly mutilated bodies were found in Mwakirunge on the 14th of October 2009.
Delivering her judgment, justice Odero observed that the prosecution had failed to produce in court a key witness who would have made a difference in the case, and who had vanished even after starting to testify.
She also said samples of blood stains collected from the clothes of one of the accused had been analysed by the government chemist and had not matched the couples’ blood.
“The witness never appeared in court to complete his testimony and as such his evidence was never tested by a way of cross examination,” Odero read from her ruling, adding that even several adjournments to give time to the prosecution to avail the witness, had not yielded any fruits.
“Although the witness spoke of seeing certain men washing a car, and talked of having rented two rooms he did not identify any of the names of the men. The court cannot and will not place any reliance on that evidence in coming to its decision,” she said, referring to a car allegedly used to transport the bodies of the two foreigners after they were killed.
During hearing, prosecution had claimed that the three conspired and killed the couple in a bid to gain full control and ownership of property which the couple had acquired jointly with them.