Kevin Adam Kinyanjui Kangethe on Thursday February 1 appeared before Hon. Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina for direction on an extradition application against him to the United States of America for first-degree murder charges at Chelsea District Court in the County of Suffolk, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In a statement, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) said it received a formal extradition request from the United States of America on January 31, 2024, for the arrest and extradition of fugitive Kevin Kangethe.
“Upon thorough perusal of the request and being satisfied that there is sufficient evidence, the DPP, through SADPP Mr. Vincent Monda, PPC, Ms. Njoki Kihara and SPC, Ms. Magdalene Nduati filed a substantive extradition application against the fugitive,” read a statement by the ODPP.
The court heard that the prosecution will be opposing the release of the fugitive on bail pending hearing and determination of the extradition proceedings.
“The court directed the prosecution to file and serve an affidavit opposing bond today, 1st February 2024 and the defense to file and serve a replying affidavit within the next three days,” added the statement.
Further, the issues relating to bail will be discussed on Monday, 5th February 2024.
DCI Arrests Kangethe
Officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) arrested Kangethe at Parklands in Nairobi on Tuesday, January 30.
DCI said in a statement on Wednesday January 31 that Kangethe was arraigned at the Milimani Chief Magistrate Court where 30 days custodial orders were granted to allow extradition processes to be completed.
“The court having granted extradition orders and allowing 30 days custodial orders for the processing, the case will be mentioned on March 4, 2024, at Milimani Law Courts,” read the statement.
Kangethe is a suspect in a first-degree murder in violation of the laws of the United States (US) where he is alleged to have murdered Margaret Mbitu in Massachusetts on October 31, 2023.
According to the DCI, he inflicted multiple stabs on the victim’s face and neck before leaving her body in a locked automobile in a parking garage at Boston Logan International Airport.
“Kangethe and the late Margaret Mbitu, a home healthcare aid in the town of Halifax, Massachusetts are believed to have been in a relationship before the suspect turned against her allegedly while on a trip to Lowel,” stated the statement.
The body of Mbitu, 31, was discovered in early November in a car at a parking garage where Kangethe allegedly killed her.
Mbitu had been reported missing by her family two days before her body was discovered.
She was last seen leaving her job in Halifax on the night of the same day she was reported missing.
“Maggie was last seen at 11 pm on Monday, October 30 in Halifax leaving work. She was wearing black pants with a grey shirt and a black cardigan. Her straight black hair was in a ponytail, and she was driving a white Toyota Venza,” read the Missing person’s poster shared by Ms Mbitu’s friends on Facebook.
Her car was later found parked inside the Central Parking garage at the airport two days later.
The late Mbitu worked at BAMSI organization based in Brockton and she was in the process of ending her relationship with Kangethe before the incident.
US Embassy Note to DCI
The US Embassy had issued a diplomatic note requesting the provisional arrest of the Kenyan fugitive.
This prompted the DCI to work jointly with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ODPP and the Office of the Inspector General to apprehend Kangethe.
Thereafter, the agencies collaborated with the US law enforcement to trace and capture the suspect.