Kenya: Ipoa Probing Police Action During Miguna's Detention at JKIA

Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i speaking before the parliamentary committee that oversees the Interior ministry.

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) is investigating the conduct of the police officers involved in the detention of lawyer Miguna Miguna l at Jomo the Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) last week.

Among the issues being investigated is whether Dr Miguna's detention and subsequent deportation to Dubai was regular.

Ipoa spokesman Denis Oketch told the Nation on phone that they were also conducting investigations into the conduct of the General Service Unit (GSU) and the plainclothes officers who clobbered journalists at the airport.

Last Tuesday, NTV cameraman Robert Gichira was left bleeding and his camera and live broadcast equipment damaged by the officers.

A GSU officer clubbed him several times as he fled.

Citizen TV reporter Stephen Letoo was beaten while delivering a live link of the drama at the airport, while KTN News senior reporter Sophia Wanuna was also slapped by one of the officers.

ROUGHED UP

Last Thursday, Dr Miguna's lawyers James Orengo, Julie Soweto, Nelson Havi and Cliff Ombeta were also roughed up by a contingent of police officers at JKIA.

The lawyers were kicked out of the airport as they tried to serve the Immigration Department with court orders requiring their client in court, Dr Miguna to be produced in court.

The Ipoa spokesman said the agency would require formal complaints from the injured journalists and attacked lawyers, testimonies of eye witnesses and even video footage to help identify the attackers.

"The challenge we have is that we are yet to receive complaints from those who were assaulted, accounts of eye witnesses and videos that will qualify proper investigations," said Mr Oketch.

He added: "The commission can investigate the incident and bring to book the officers who were involved in the attack, but we still require aggrieved parties to complain and witnesses to come forward and testify."

POLICY GUIDELINE

The senior officer added that the commission would also use its investigation at the JKIA drama to draft new policy guideline on police operation.

He said IPOA deployed its monitors and investigators to closely monitor police operations since Dr Miguna's earlier deportation to Canada and the latest one to Dubai.

The agency spokesman said the commission would release its findings upon conclusion of the ongoing investigations.

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