Top Kenya pathologist charged with theft of body parts
Former Chief Government Pathologist Moses Njue in a Nairobi court on May 15, 2018. (EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP )
Nairobi, May 15, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Kenya’s former Chief Government Pathologist Moses Njue on Tuesday appeared in court over allegation that he stole the heart of a corpse at Lee Funeral Home in 2015
Dr Njue was charged at a Nairobi court alongside his son, Lemuel Anasha Mureithi – who was his assistant pathologist. They both denied the charge
They are accused of stealing the heart of Timothy Mwandi Muumbo while performing an autopsy on June 25, 2015.
Mureithi was not in court and Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi issued summons for him to appear in court and answer to the charges before the hearing date on July 3.
Dr Njue denied a further count of destroying the heart, to conceal evidence, knowing that the autopsy report would be used as evidence in a case pending in court.
He denied a third count of illegally removing the heart.
The court had earlier rejected an application by Dr Njue to defer the plea arguing Mr Muumbo’s relatives, had filed a petition before the High Court, seeking to compel him to release the body part. According to Dr Njue, the trial will prejudice the High Court case.
Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Catherine Mwaniki objected the application saying Dr Njue was not the applicant in the petition and the trial court had not been served with orders, stopping the proceedings.
Mr Andayi agreed with Ms Mwaniki saying that there was nothing stopping the court from proceeding with the case.
After denying the charges, the court ordered Dr Njue to deposit cash bail of Sh300,000 to secure his release.
Another family in Meru County complained that they buried their relative minus the heart after Dr Njue performed an autopsy to establish the cause of his death.
The DPP had recommended that Dr Njue, who resigned from the government a few years ago to work at his own medical school, be charged with theft of body parts belonging to Benedict Karau.
Mr Karau died mysteriously on March 2, 2015 and Dr Njue was set to be charged with three counts including theft contrary to section 275 of the penal code, wilful destruction of evidence and illegal removal of body parts contrary to the Anatomy Act.
But Dr Njue rushed to court and obtained orders obtained an anticipatory bail and filed a petition seeking to block the charges.