Inquest now set up over executions

January 21, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 21 – The government has now opted for a public inquiry to establish circumstances under which police officers allegedly executed three suspected gunmen on Lang\’ata Road on Tuesday.

Highly placed sources in the force told Capital News that the inquest was set up on Friday morning, a day after Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti announced that three officers involved in the killings had been interdicted.

The officers will now be required to write fresh statements at the inquiry to facilitate the probe into the incident that has sparked public outrage, according to one senior officer privy to the goings on at police headquarters.

"A public inquest is now in place, it has been preferred because it is the one that will help bring out the truth," the source said. "The Commissioner of Police is very much determined to get the truth and have justice done."

Capital News has also established that key on the inquiry\’s agenda is to obtain statements from the motorist who took photographs of the killings because he or she is considered a key witness in the probe.

"The person who took the photographs is, in this case, very crucial to the investigation," the source added.

We also learnt that police headquarters would soon formally request for evidence from members of the public who may have witnessed the incident or have any vital information.

On Thursday, Professor Saitoti said that the officers involved would face charges in court once investigations were completed.

"I have directed the Commissioner of Police to interdict with immediate effect the officers in order to pave way for thorough investigations," he told a media conference at his office but he did not give identities of those dismissed.

"Once investigations are complete, disciplinary action will be taken including prosecuting the officers in a court of law," he added. "I want to assure the public that stern action will be taken against such errant officers."

Five other police officers – two from the Special Crimes Prevention Unit and three from the Flying Squad unit – were spared because they did not use their firearms at the scene.

Two of those spared were drivers who are said to have remained in their vehicles as the gangsters were subdued and eventually fatally shot during the Wednesday incident that occurred on Lang\’ata Road.

Capital News was reliably informed that the three officers who participated in the shooting of the suspected gangsters were disarmed on Thursday morning and ordered to write statements on circumstances that led to the shooting.

By Thursday afternoon, all the guns allocated to the seven police officers who were pursuing the gangsters on Lang\’ata Road had been taken to the CID headquarters for ballistic tests.

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