12 October 2017

Kenya: Terror Police Implicated in Boy's Inquest

A police officer who is facing charges of supporting terrorism has been mentioned in an ongoing inquest into the death of a 16-year old school boy, who was shot dead during riots over a pastor.

Police constable Abdi Jelle was named as one of the police officers who had fired shots after a rowdy mob threatened to lynch a pastor who was accused of having been found in a compromising position with another man's wife in Embu town early last year.


He has denied posting an offensive message on Facebook glorifying the action of a rogue police officer who killed his seven colleagues at Kapenguria Police Station in August last year.

On Wednesday evening, Embu West DCIO George Etyang said Mr Jelle together with Embu deputy OCS Haile Wagane were the only officers who fired shots, to disperse the mob.

While giving his evidence during the inquest into the death of Kelvin Macharia Gicovi, Mr Etyang told Embu Resident Magistrate Julian Ndengeri that both had Ceska pistols and Mr Jelle fired six shots, while Mr Wagane fired one.

However, Mr Etyang who was the investigating officer in the matter said he could not expressly state which gun fired the fatal wound as the bullet head was never recovered.

He handed to the court the two pistols, two magazines, eight rounds of ammunition and spent cartridges which had been presented to a ballistics officer, and none matched the killer bullet.


"It is difficult for us to determine which gun killed him. We didn't get the bullet head that matched the one that killed the deceased," said Mr Etyang, who was being led by State Counsel Celestine Matere.

In his evidence, Dr Bernard Midia, a forensic pathologist working with Independent Medical Legal Unit (IMLU) said the deceased died of gunshot wound to the cheek that exited through the upper side of the head.

Mr Etyang recounted how on the fateful day, there was a scuffle near a local bank after a local businessman confronted an evangelical preacher, accusing him of having an affair with his wife.

It is then the police fired in the air to disperse boda boda riders who had thronged the area, seeking to lynch the clergyman.

"Police whisked him and drove him to the police station. The pastor's car was driven to the police station by the OCPD as the mob wanted to set it on fire," he said.

It is then that Kevin Macharia was shot dead.


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