Langata killer cops to know fate soon

February 1, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 1 – The fate of the six police officers interdicted after they were captured on camera executing three suspected gangsters in Nairobi will be known soon.

Assistant Minister for Internal Security Orwa Ojode told Parliament on Tuesday that a public inquest opened following the killings is almost through and the file will be forwarded to the Attorney General for further advice.

“The public inquest which was opened at the Lang’ata Police station will be completed very soon,” Mr Ojode told Parliament.

“The file will be forwarded to the AG for advice and perusal.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Mr Ojode released the names of the six officers under investigations and assured that action against them will be taken if they are found guilty.

He said those interdicted (names withheld) include a Sergeant, two Corporals and three constables.

The information sharply contradicted that of the Internal Security Minister Profesor George Saitoti who had told journalists soon after the killings that only three officers had been interdicted.

Professor Saitoti had told journalists an investigation was underway and sought to assure that the officers will be arraigned in court if found to be guilty.

He said: “Already there is overwhelming evidence because the scenario is captured on camera and you can see the officers shooting suspects who have already surrendered.”

The officers were interdicted on January 20, a day after they were captured on camera shooting three gunmen who had surrendered to them on Lang’ata Road, near the Wilson airport.

A motorist who witnessed the incident took photographs of the scenario and handed them over to a local daily newspaper where they were published, sparking an outcry from human rights lobby groups and Kenyans.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere, speaking to reporters days after the incident said his officers “will not spare anyone found in illegal possession of a firearm” sending signals that he fully supported the actions of police officers who shot and killed suspects on Lang’ata Road.

The Internal Security Minister however warned that police “have no authority to shoot at any suspect regardless of the fact that he is armed” and instead urged police officers to use firearms in accordance with the law.

He said police were not justified to kill the suspects intercepted on Lang’ata Road even though they were armed, because they had already surrendered.

On Tuesday, the Assistant Minister for Internal Security told Parliament that the suspected gunmen killed on Lang’ata Road had previous criminal convictions of robbery with violence and were headed for a robbery mission.

“They were six in number but three of them namely Paul Juma Wanjiku, David Kanini Mwangi, and Hussein Gichuki Mwangi were shot dead, the others escaped on foot towards Kibera slums while the other drove off with the motor vehicle,” Mr Ojode said.

An American-made pistol loaded with two rounds of ammunitions was recovered from the slain men.

The Kenya National Commision on Human Rights (KNCHR) is among several other local and international lobby groups which condemned the police actions and called for a credible investigation.

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