Woman accused of killing tycoon husband set free

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A Nairobi-based businesswoman, who was accused of killing her husband, was on Wednesday acquitted by the High Court after the prosecution failed to prove the case against her.

Justice Dora Chepkwony set free Ms Amina Shiraz and rule that none of the evidence given by the 18 prosecution witnesses linked the suspect to the death of her husband Jimmy Baburum.

DIFFERENT STATEMENTS

“The prosecution must prove its case beyond any reasonable doubt,” said Justice Chepkwony in her ruling.

Justice Chepkwony noted that two key prosecution witnesses each recorded three statements on different dates which gave different versions on the circumstances of the death of the victim.

She said that it was difficult to discern which of the statements bore the truth while noting that oral evidence by the two witnesses also differed with what was on their written statements.

“The two prosecution witnesses were the only ones, who had evidence to connect the accused, however from the evidence, doubts have arisen on what is the truthful version,” said Justice Chepkwony.

Justice Chepkwony further said that apart from the two witnesses, none of the remaining witnesses gave evidence to point out that the accused caused the death of the deceased as some never even visited the scene.

She further said that there was no evidence on the mobile phone data given in court showing that the accused had any intention to commit murder.

Ms Shiraz had been charged with the murder of her husband Baburum. Baburam, a weapons expert who supplied the Kenya Defence Forces with ammunition and related hardware, was found dead in a swimming pool at the luxurious Medina Palms Resort in Watamu on July 26, 2015.

She was accused of colluding with Jacob Schmalzle, an American. An arrest warrant was issued against Mr Schmalzle, but he was never seized.

In her submissions on no case to answer, Ms Shiraz told the court that her father in-law was the driving force behind her prosecution.

Through her lawyers Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi and Jared Magolo, Ms Shiraz told the court that her father-in-law Jagathram Baburum was desperate to have her thrown in prison so that he can benefit from the deceased estate.

Ms Shiraz told Justice Chepkwony that although the impression created by her father-in-law was to find justice for his son, according to the evidence given, he was motivated by human greed.

“The case is not about the death of the son (to find who killed him) it is a fight over the fortunes of the deceased property,” Mr Abdullahi said in court.

Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Vincent Monda saidthat the prosecution had made out a prima facie case against Ms Shiraz.

Mr Monda said evidences given by prosecution witnesses were cogent, credible and reliable contrary to submissions by the defence lawyer.

“We disagree with the assertion that the witness (an eye witness) was coached to come and tell lies to the court,” said Mr Monda.

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