6 cops under probe over teacher’s cell death

August 18, 2011 2:58 pm

, KIAMBU, Kenya, Aug 18 – Six police officers and two inmates are being investigated over the death of a teacher from Loreto Kiambu High School, who allegedly succumbed to injuries sustained in a beating within police cells on Sunday night.

Police Spokesman Erick Kiraithe said the Officer in Charge of Kiambu Police Station is among officers who have recorded statements over the death of John Muturi Kariuki.

He said Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere had issued firm instructions for a thorough investigation to be carried out and officers found culpable sacked and arraigned in court.

“The Commissioner of Police wishes to inform the public that if any officer(s) is found to have committed a criminal offence in respect of this death, he will be dismissed and prosecuted,” Mr Kiraithe said.

The deceased teacher who was the Dean of Studies at the school died at the Kenyatta National Hospital on Wednesday morning after undergoing an operation.

He had been treated at the Kiambu District Hospital soon after being released from custody on Monday morning when he reportedly told his colleagues that he had been beaten while in the cells.

An Occurrence Book at the station indicates that he was booked in for an offence of being drunk and disorderly.

He had been arrested alongside seven other suspects and was locked up with 60 other inmates in the cells where he spent Sunday night, according to police.

The teacher was released on Monday morning, after one of his colleagues went to request to be allowed to take him to hospital because he was unwell.

On Thursday, Mr Kiraithe said a note was made in the occurrence book indicating that the teacher had complained of feeling unwell but he did not state if the deceased had made a complaint against any of the officers.

“So far investigators have recorded statements from officers who arrested the deceased, those who were at the report office and the OCS Kiambu Police Station. We are also making arrangements with the family to ensure that the post-mortem is carried out on time,” Mr Kiraithe said.

Police headquarters has pledged to open up the investigation to the family and members of the public.

“The Commissioner of Police has directed that investigations be completed expeditiously and that the entire process be conducted in a transparent manner,” the police spokesman said.

On Wednesday, students of Loreto Kiambu High School staged a massive demonstration at the local police station to protest the alleged beating that led to the death of their Chemistry and Biology teacher.

An official of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Mwaura Kamau told Capital News that the deceased teacher was able to notify his colleagues of the beating and they were allowed by police officers to take him to hospital on Monday morning.

“When he called one of his colleagues in the morning, he was in much pain and that is when he was taken to the Kiambu District Hospital for treatment. On Tuesday, doctors there advised that he be transferred to the Kenyatta National Hospital where he died after undergoing an operation,” Mr Kamau said.

According to Mr Kamau, the teacher was operated on after a scan revealed some of his internal organs were ruptured.

“Before he died, he narrated how police officers went to the cells and beat him up because he had been protesting the arrest. We will not let this matter rest here,” he said and vowed that the union would mobilise a major demonstration in the coming days to protest the death of the teacher.


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