7 FGM suspects in court

by Lawyer Wanz
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Seven suspects, who were arrested on Monday, April 4, 2022, for allegedly participating in the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) of six girls, have been arraigned before a Mukurwe-ini court to face charges.

The seven namely Christine Thenya, Alice Wandia, Cecilia Nyaguthii, Rose Mumbi, Esther Ngendo, Aloise Waweru Muriithi, and Wahome Muriuki were arraigned before Resident Magistrate Damacline Bosibori.

Investigating officer Elizabeth Mwikali urged the court to detain the suspects for six days to get ample time to conclude investigations and recover tools that were used to perform the FGM.

The officer also told the court she needed more time to hunt for more suspects who escaped during the arrest.

“We need sufficient time to interrogate the respondents as well as record statements from the witnesses and carry out individual age assessment for victims,” she told the magistrate.

The prosecution supported the prayer to have the suspects detained, noting that there were compelling reasons to have them in custody for six days.

However, a lawyer representing the respondents Ruo Mwaura objected to the plea, saying there were no compelling reasons to do so.

What they are asking is within the mandate and they can be effectively carried out without holding the respondents in the police cells.

“No reason has been advanced as to whether or not the respondents are likely to interfere with the investigations, and they are within our fixed aboard within the jurisdiction of the court,” the lawyer said.

The magistrate detained the suspects until April 7 when she will rule on whether to release them on bail or not.

Kenya outlawed the practice in 2011, but it continues secretly, with many of those undergoing the painful cut being aged between nine and 17.

Police officers on Monday acted on a tip-off and busted the alleged ring leaders. Five women and two men were arrested.

Mukurweini Sub-County Police Commander Patrick Manyasi said detectives also arrested the owner of the house in which the cutting ceremony was being conducted.

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