Five men arraigned before a Mombasa court to answer to charges of allegedly robbing a police officer were on Tuesday acquitted.

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Mombasa Principal Magistrate Edgar Kagoni ordered for the release of Mohamed Mwachande, Mohamed Salim, Kassim Ahmed, Mohamed Abdala and Ali Omar.

The five had been accused of allegedly violently robbing Police Constable Simon Lochodo of his rifle and ammunition.

The court heard that Constable Lochodo who suffered serious injuries leading to his death during the robbery incident was robbed of his G3 rifle with 20 rounds of ammunition valued at Sh75,000.

The officer who was guarding Gulf Africa Bank in Bondeni was shot and wounded by unknown gunmen on October 2, 2015, at about 3 pm, but succumbed to the injuries while undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Kagoni, however, in his ruling acquitted the five of all the charges saying the prosecution failed to provide enough evidence in court.

The magistrate in his ruling said that the officer who extracted samples from the accused failed to provide the evidence in court.

He further ruled that the court cannot rely on contents of a government analyst’s report placing the accused persons in a house where the rifle was recovered.

The officers who testified in court could not explain how the samples from the accused were taken and whether they were taken to any medical facility or the Government Chemist, added the magistrate.

“I find each of the accused persons not guilty of the offence of robbery with violence and acquit them under Section 215 of the Criminal Procedure Code.” 

“The prosecution’s case was hinged on the recovery of the rifle which was stolen. I have found that no evidence has been tendered to link any of the accused to the house in which the weapon was recovered,” ruled Kagoni.