Court orders Kemri to produce Saburi’s Covid-19 results

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BY CORRESPONDENT,MOMBASA,5TH MAY 2020-A Mombasa court has allowed an application by Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi seeking orders compelling the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) in Kilifi to issue him with a certified copy of test results where he purportedly tested positive for coronavirus.

Senior Resident Magistrate Christine Ogweno allowed the application by Mr Saburi who is also seeking to be supplied with a list of samples taken from him on March 18 that led to his alleged results.

Through lawyer George Kithi, the DG also told the court that he wants to be supplied with any documents where he signed, if at all, declaring that he gave samples to Kemri for testing.

Mr Kithi also applied to have the prosecution supply them with a list of re-agents used at Kemri to conduct an evaluation of the purported samples informing the results of March 21 where Mr Saburi is alleged to have tested positive.

“We are also seeking to be supplied with an order issued giving details of Kemri personnel or officers who purportedly took samples,” said Mr Kithi.

The lawyer further said they would like to get from Kemri the machine deployed to conduct the tests and the procedure followed, as well as when it acquired re-agents and test kits.

“Scientists from Kemri would inform the court on the methodology they used, the defence will have time to cross examine,” said Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Alloys Kemo.

Mr Kemo told the court that they would not hide anything and will disclose whatever the defence is seeking since it is in the interest of justice to procure the evidence.

He had earlier told the court that the prosecution was not ready to hold pre-trial conference since there are certain aspects of investigation yet to be completed.

“We accessed the accused passport which did not indicate countries that he had travelled in the month of March, we never saw any visas,” said Mr Kemo.

“We seek more time to pursue the matter with the immigration department before we can be in a position to embark on pre-trial,” said Mr Kemo.

He further informed the court that the investigations team has also been hampered by downscaling of services in government offices.

The Deputy Governor denied a charge of wilfully exposing himself in public while suffering from Covid-19 without taking proper precautions, contrary to the Public Health Act.

The accused is alleged to have committed the offence between March 6 and 22 within Kilifi County.

Last month he was released on Sh200,000 cash bail or an alternative of a Sh500,000 bond with a surety of similar amount.

The case has been fixed for mention on June 4.

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