DJ Joe’s Release Fuels Debate on Pretrial Detention Practices

DJ Joseph Mwenda, widely known as DJ Joe, has been released from detention after spending 14 days behind bars alongside six others. The detention was linked to an ongoing investigation into the killing of Kabete detective Felix Kelian. The group, including DJ Joe, had been held at the request of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the state.

During their appearance in court today for further directions, Kibera Magistrate Margaret Murage was informed that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had decided to utilize DJ Joe and the other six individuals as state witnesses. However, DJ Joe’s hypeman, Allan Ochieng’, has been referred for plea-taking on a murder charge at the Kiambu High Court.

Following the release, Advocate Ng’ang’a Mbugua expressed concerns about the unjust nature of the detention, emphasizing that it was without probable cause. He highlighted the intention to seek legal redress for the DJ and his team, mentioning the possibility of filing a constitutional petition for damages against the officers responsible for their detention.

The legal representative faulted the Directorate of Criminal Investigations for detaining suspects prior to completing investigations, stressing that probes should precede arrests and detentions. He underscored that while he supported investigative efforts, he opposed the pretrial detention of innocent individuals.

“This is a worrying trend. This is something that should worry every believer in constitutionalism and fundamental rights,” Mbugua stated.

Initially, during their arraignment on March 25, the court had been informed of preliminary evidence against DJ Joe and his co-respondents. However, during today’s proceedings, it was revealed that there was no evidence against the six individuals who had been detained alongside DJ Joe.

DJ Joe’s release marks a significant development in the ongoing investigation into the killing of Detective Felix Kelian. As a key witness in the case, DJ Joe’s testimony could potentially shed light on crucial aspects of the incident.

The release also raises questions about the procedures followed by law enforcement agencies in handling suspects during investigations. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of upholding constitutional rights and ensuring that due process is followed at all stages of the legal proceedings.

Moving forward, DJ Joe and his legal team are expected to explore avenues for seeking justice and holding accountable those responsible for his wrongful detention. As the case continues to unfold, the public remains vigilant, advocating for transparency and fairness in the administration of justice.


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