Five Kenya Forest Service officials have been charged with the murder of a 19-year-old high school student in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County, last month.

Charles Korir Kipkoech, Lemiso Francis Kiparus, Stanley Njoroge Chege, Simon Mbugua Mwaura, and Eric Mwaura Njenga are suspected of causing Stephen Mwangi's death on May 8 in the Maji Mazuri Forest.

PHOTO | COURTESY The suspects

The cops came before Justice Rachael Ngetich to face murder charges under Section 203, as read with Section 204 of the Penal Code.

The prosecution team rejected bail petitions, citing worries about witness influence, the seriousness of the case, and the public interest.

PHOTO | COURTESY the suspects 

Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Tom Imbali emphasized that the right to life and the right to bail are constitutionally protected and urged the court not to choose one.

He urged the court to expedite justice by scheduling early hearings for the case.

While the police officers pleaded not guilty, the judge ordered a pre-bail report for additional instructions to be produced before the next hearing, planned for July 15.