Kenya: Willie Kimani Murder - Inspector Denies Asking Suspect to Turn Witness

18 October 2019

An officer who investigated the murder of lawyer Willie Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri on Friday denied that he tried persuading one of the accused persons to become a witness in the case.

Chief inspector Robert Owino denied that he, at some point, tried convincing Ms Sylvia Wanjiku, one of the police officers facing murder charges, to make a confession.

"No, I never tried reaching out to her," Mr Owino said while being cross-examined by lawyer Katwa Kigen.

He told Justice Jessie Lesiit that there was a systematic conspiracy by the accused persons to cover up the murders.

"By not indicating in the official records that the three were detained in the cells, they knew there was something sinister. Ordinarily, you cannot confine a prisoner without a booking," he said.

POLICE WORK

The officer further said he was satisfied with the work police did "in the circumstances" and that they charged the right persons.

He said Ms Wanjiku was on duty at the Syokimau Administration Police camp the day Mr Kimani, Mr Mwenda and Mr Muiruri were kidnapped after leaving the Mavoko Law Courts.

Mr Owino said she reported to work at 6am and took a short break at 11am for personal errands.

He said Ms Wanjiku left an officer identified as Corporal Mwita to stand in for her and that she returned at noon and remained at the sentry up to 6pm.

Pressed harder by Mr Kigen, the officer said nobody gave direct evidence that Ms Wanjiku met the three victims.

THE SUSPECTS

Ms Wanjiku and her colleagues Mr Fredrick Leliman, Mr Stephen Cheburet and Mr Leonard Maina Mwangi, have denied murdering the three people.

Also charged is former police informer Peter Ngugi, who made a confession about the killings.

The victims were kidnapped after leaving the Mavoko courts on June 23, 2016.

Their bodies, stashed in gunny bags, were retrieved a week later from Athi River near Ol Donyo Sabuk police post.

The hearing was adjourned to November 4.

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