Kenya: DPP Ask for Further Probe Into Touts' Death Inside Police Station

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has recommended a further probe into the gruesome murder of a Mombasa tout inside Changamwe police station.

Mr Caleb Espino Otieno died at the police station under mysterious circumstances in September 2018, shortly after he was arrested and detained inside the facility's cell.

But the DPP has said that the inquiry file received from Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), who investigated the matter, does not contain sufficient materials to sustain murder charge against the implicated police officers.

"We acknowledge the fact that the ingredients of murder must be proved individually beyond reasonable doubt against each accused person," said State Counsel Peris Ogega.

Further, DPP has said through Ms Ogega that a perusal of inquiry file from IPOA and DCI Changamwe, together with exhibits contained therein, has indicated that the man's death was caused by assault, that occurred on the night of September 18, 2018, while he was at the police station.

"However, we have noted that there are several areas that have not been adequately covered to sustain a charge of murder against the proposed suspects," she said.

The DPP has identified witness verification of the officers who assaulted the deceased, identification parade of the same, report from the hospital- on the state of the deceased when he was taken in- and photographic evidence of the scene, as some of the grey areas that have not been adequately addressed in the report forwarded to his office.

"We have since directed IPOA to conduct investigations in regard to the above issues, and forward to us the inquiry file upon conclusion for our direction," said Ms Ogega.

The state has assured the deceased's family and the public that it has taken sufficient steps to ensure that the mysterious death inside the police cell is thoroughly investigated and perpetrators prosecuted.

"We have all intentions of prosecuting the suspects who caused the assault and subsequent death of Mr Otieno. We have seriously pursued this matter to ensure that the deceased get justice," said the prosecutor.

The DPP has said this in a response to a case it has been sued alongside former Officer Commanding Changamwe police station Inspector Yusuf Ibrahim, National Police Service, and Attorney General Kihara Kariuki.

The suit has been filed in Mombasa Court by Muslims For Human Rights and Justice (Muhuri) and the deceased's father Fanis Owendi.

The lobby group wants police officers implicated in the death of Mr Otieno to be prosecuted.

Until his death, the 40-year-old was a matatu tout in Changamwe.

Witnesses accounts indicate that three police officers arrested the deceased at an entertainment joint the previous evening only for him to be found dead the following morning.

At the police station, the deceased is reported to have received beating when he demanded to know reasons for arrest.

Police are said to have been irked by the deceased's move to angrily shake the cells grills in protest over failure to be informed of the reasons for his arrest.

Post-mortem conducted on his body-at Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital, where he was taken and marked as "dead on arrival"- indicated that he suffered multiple injuries on the head, the upper cervical spine of the neck and chest.

The report also indicated that there was a fracture due to blunt force trauma, bleeding within the brain, and injury on the upper spinal cord. Also, a rib on the victim's left chest had a fracture and a visible tear within one of his lungs.

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