Rally driver Maxine Wahome, who is accused of murdering her boyfriend Asad Khan, Tuesday told the court that she was in an abusive, violent and dehumanising love affair.
Ms Wahome also said that Asad and his brother used to take her rally sponsorship funds and as a result “she has nothing in her pockets and little in her accounts” to pay for bail.
Pleading with the court to release her from custody on a simple cash bail pending the trial, Ms Wahome’s lawyer Philip Murgor also claimed that Asad’s family has confiscated her car and are demanding Sh2.9 million to release it.
Judge Lilian Mutende, however, said the court would not record the lawyer’s claims on confiscation of the car and the money demands.
“Ms Wahome is a young lady aged 25 years and is dependent on her parents. Asad was a mechanic who helped her fix her rally cars and when she got famous, all the sponsorship money ended up in the hands of Asad and his brother Adil (Khan),” claimed Mr Murgor.
“As she stands here, she does not have anything in her pocket and very little in her bank account.”
The court further heard that Asad was violent to his former girlfriends and had turned Ms Wahome’s life into a nightmare during their three-year relationship.
“This is a case of a young lady being brutally assaulted and turned into an accused,” Mr Murgor told Justice Mutende.
He stated that Ms Wahome met Asad when she was 22 years old working as a nursery school teacher at a nearby school. He later introduced her to rallying.
Mr Murgor said Ms Wahome was a victim of gender-based violence and that Asad died after injuring himself following a scuffle at their house on the night of December 12, 2022.
He said Asad was drunk and yelling at Ms Wahome to leave the house on the day of the incident.
“Evidence shows no guilt on the part of the accused. On their evidence, one of the documents provided to court is a report from Nairobi Hospital showing that Khan was so impaired to be in control and one can die if he had underlying health condition. He was drunk,” said Mr Murgor.
The senior counsel also stated that one of the intended prosecution witnesses, Chemtai Chepkorir, a neighbour, said in her statement that on the fateful she heard “a woman crying as Asad was yelling at Ms Wahome to leave the house immediately”.
“She (the witness) confirmed seeing blood. Another witness, Hassan, confirmed hearing the shouts. Samuel Kimani another neighbour of 10 years said Asad Khan was violent to all his girlfriends. There are no compelling reasons to deny the accused bail,” said Mr Murgor.
He stated that Asad injured himself using a broken glass and that there were people who saw him walking out of the house to the hospital.
On why Ms Wahome did not visit Asad in hospital or attend the funeral, the court heard that his family was hostile towards her. He also denied that Ms Wahome was a flight risk.
The prosecutor and Asad’s family opposed her bail application and asked the court to detain her pending the trial.
The state said Ms Wahome, in a bid to shield herself from the alleged crime, called her parents as the first responders to the incident and kept the specifics of the incident from Asad’s family. She also withheld their witness statements from the police until after they were compelled to do so.
“In choosing to call her parents as the first responders and shielding the family of the victim from the specifics of the incident, is enough reason that the accused was keen on misleading, misdirecting, misrepresenting facts and dragging the pace of investigations in this matter,” said the prosecutor.
Asad’s family raised issues of witness interference and told the court that Ms Wahome, if released on bail, could flee.
“The family is apprehensive that if she is released, the witnesses will be fearful of testifying about what is written,” said the family lawyer.
“Actions of the accused person are questionable since she was released on December 18 by the lower court on cash bail, and if there is nothing to hide why did she not attend the burial of the deceased on December 19,” the lawyer said.
The court ruled that Ms Wahome will remain in custody until it receives a pre-bail report before it can set a date to determine her bail application. The case will be mentioned virtually on March 27.