Sabahi (Washington, DC)

Kenyan Police Cast Doubt in Gang Rape Case, Chief Justice Orders 'Action'

Kenya's police cast doubt Saturday (November 2nd) on a schoolgirl's testimony that she was gang-raped, even as the chief justice ordered "immediate action" in the case, AFP reported.

A brutal gang rape that left a schoolgirl in a wheelchair has brought Kenyan women onto the streets, demanding an end to a culture of impunity over violence against women. [AFP] Play Video

The reported attack on a 16-year-old girl known by the pseudonym "Liz" and the lack of action against the perpetrators has led to an outcry in Kenya, while over 1.3 million people worldwide have signed a petition demanding justice.

But Kenyan police chief David Kimaiyo said investigations suggested that the girl's report was false.

"Unfortunately, our investigations have revealed information which the public do not have and which members of the public need to appreciate before they offer a blanket condemnation on the incident," he said in a statement.

"The time span between the screams for help and when the villagers actually came out to her rescue is given as too short for six assailants to have gang raped her," the statement reads.

Kimaiyo also pointed out that the assailants were not released from police custody as a result of negligence, but pursuant to an agreement between them and Liz's family, Kenya's Capital FM reported. The officers' oversight was in their failure to put the agreement in writing, he said.

In contrast, Kenya's Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said he sent the matter to the National Council for the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) for "immediate action".

The NCAJ is Kenya's top-level judicial oversight body bringing together the judiciary, police, attorney-general and director of public prosecutions.

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