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 Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - CAROLE MAINA @MainaCa­role

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

/MONICAH MWANGI

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

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