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Kang’ethe extradition saga and why suspect is not murderer yet

analysis, monitoring

Ever since news broke of US fugitive Kevin Kinyanjui Kang’ethe, whom authorities in Massachusetts want back to face legal charges of murder, journalists especially crime reporters, have been on the beat for better weeks.

The man who entered the country secretly having left US in unclear circumstances was arrested in Nairobi and booked in at Muthaiga police station before he escaped from custody.

US police had alerted Kenyan authorities that Kang’ethe was the principal suspect in the murder of Margaret Mbitu whose body was discovered dead on October 31, 2023.

But what is questionable is the way some media reporting appears to depict the escapee as an already convicted murderer.

Well, although police from that side of the world implicate him in Mbitu’s murder based on their investigations, still Kang’ethe has not been tried and convicted of the crime.

A Capital News report on February 14 appeared to suggest that Kang’ethe was Mbitu’s murderer.

Fugitive murder suspect Kevin Kang’ethe wanted in the US recaptured after dramatic escape from custody,” the headline stated.

Nairobi Police Chief Adamson Bungei says the suspect who is wanted in the US for the murder of his girlfriend was re-arrested in Ngong.”

The news item went on: “Kang’ethe’s escape from Muthaiga police station on February 7 had shocked many, including US authorities who had lauded police for apprehending him having escaped from America where he was wanted in Massachusetts for killing his girlfriend identified as Margaret Mbitu on October 31, 2023.”

These two paragraphs seem to direct the reader to the conclusion that Kang’ethe murdered Mbitu and then escaped.

Such information is misleading. Only a judge can determine, from the evidence provided, whether or not Kang’ethe carried out the murder.

Journalists should remain cautious and report the facts.

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