German national accused of human trafficking denied bail

Thomas Scheller
German national, Thomas Scheller. [Photo courtesy]

A German national accused of child trafficking in Kenya, Thomas Scheller will remain behind bars until his case is concluded.

On Monday, Senior Resident Magistrate Muthoni Nzibe turned down the defence’s plea for bail citing that the witnesses are minors who must testify first before she considers the suspect’s bail application.

Scheller has been accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy, human trafficking and making indecent videos of minors which he later sent abroad to his networks.

The crimes were committed in Kisumu and Kwale counties on diverse dates between March and April 2020. He has also been charged with being in Kenya unlawfully.

The 71-year-old has now been remanded at the Kilimani Police Station waiting for the start of the trial on July, 21.

The defence team led by lawyer John Swaka has been handed witness statements by lead prosecutor Winnie Moraa.

Swaka in his plea to have his client released on bail told the court that the accused has spent weeks in police custody and given his age, he could succumb to COVID-19.

 “Given the current Covid-19 pandemic scourge and considering the age of the suspect before court, it’s prudent you release him on bond to keep himself safe outside the remand homes,” Swaka argued.

Swaka further told the court that several people would stand bail for the accused while a permanent residence for him is guaranteed and can be proven.

However, the Prosecution team opposed his release on bail saying that all the seven counts that he has been charged with attract a harsh penalty which could push him to jumping bail.

 “There are three victims of tender age and we are apprehensive if released before the minors testify, he will influence them,” the prosecution said.

He was arrested on May 5 outside the German Embassy in Nairobi after weeks of trailing him.