Court hears police plotted killings of lawyer Willy, his client and taxi driver
An officer ordered an informer to monitor the lawyer and his client. Their taxi was stopped after a court case and they were bundled into a car
The trial of five people accused of killing human rights lawyer Willy Kimani, his client and a taxi driver opened yesterday with the prosecution giving graphic and chilling details of how the cold-blooded murders were executed.
In its opening statement, the prosecution told the trial court they have both direct and circumstantial evidence that will prove the five accused hatched a plot to kill the three men.
The prosecution said it has a tissue paper note believed to have been written by Kimani a few hours before he and his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri were killed.
“Please call this number and let Rose know that Willy and Mwenda have been arrested and held at Syokimau. We are in danger,” the note, written in Kiswahili, stated.
The three were from the Mavoko law courts where Kimani was representing Mwenda in a case in which he accused a police officer of assault. Muiruri was their driver on June 23 when the three went missing. Their bodies were later found on July 1 in Ol Donyo Sabuk River.
The prosecution said former senior sergeant Fredrick Leliman, Leonard Mwangi, Stephen Chebulet and Silvia Wanjiku, who have all denied the charges, and another suspect who is still at large, orchestrated the plan that led to the killings.
A fifth suspect - Peter Kamau alias Brown, a police informer, allegedly met Leliman the previous day at a hotel in Mlolongo. Leliman ordered Kamau to monitor Mwenda’s movement.
Leliman gave Kamau a new phone with an unregistered sim card, which he was to use the following morning to report on Mwenda’s movements.
Leliman, who allegedly headed a squad in the area, was afraid of losing his job if a complaint being investigated by IPOA over a shooting incident with Mwenda was still active.
The court hearing began at 10am and ended at about midday. “Meanwhile, Leliman’s vehicle was parked outside the court and he had changed the number plates to conceal its identity. He had received information about Mwenda from Kamau,” it heard.
As Kimani and Mwenda left the court, Leliman’s car followed the taxi.
He made a first attempt to stop the taxi as they crossed the railway line. Then he commanded Muiruri to stop and he complied. “They stopped and were told they were under arrest. They were then ordered to leave the car and enter Leliman’s car before they were driven to the Syokimau AP Post,” the court was told.
The court also heard that they were not booked, but thrown into a cell.
The prosecution said the officers did not search the suspects. Kimani had a pen and a piece of tissue paper, which he used to scribble the message, wrapped it in a socket and threw it to a boda boda man who was driving past.
They were later removed from the cell and bundled into a car boot. They were driven to an open field opposite Mastermind Tobacco on Mombasa Road, a place called Soweto, where they were tortured and killed.
THE BODIES OF THE LAWYER, HIS CLIENT AND A TAXI DRIVER WERE FOUND A WEEK LATER DUMPED IN A RIVER
Suspects Peter Kamau, Leonard Maina, Silvia Wanjohi, Stephen Morogo and Fredrick Leliman at the Milimani law courts yesterday, where they face charges for the murder of lawyer Willy Kimani, his client and a taxi driver