Bomb squad enlisted in Saitoti crash probe

July 4, 2012 4:08 pm
She said the samples collected from the crash site Wednesday will be airlifted to the USA and France for further analysis/MIKE KARIUKI

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 4 – Police bomb experts have been invited to take samples from the wreckage of the helicopter that killed Internal Security Minister George Saitoti, his deputy Orwa Ojode and four police officers.

Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry Justice Kalpana Rawal told journalists on Wednesday that her team was determined and will not stop at anything to tell Kenyans the truth of what caused the June 10 helicopter crash.

“As a matter of fact, this commission (does not want) to rule out any possibility, that is the reason this examination has to be carried out so that we don’t rule out any possibility,” she said.

She said the samples collected from the crash site Wednesday will be airlifted to the USA and France for further analysis.

Among other things, the commission is seeking to establish if the helicopter crash was a result of mechanical failure, poor weather, sabotage or any other eventuality that can cause the helicopter to crash.

“Some of these tests will be carried outside the country while others will be done here locally. I will follow to ensure everything is done,” Justice Rawal said when she led other commissioners and investigators to the crash site in Kibiku forest, Ngong to take away the police helicopter wreckage which had been staying there since last month.

Pieces of the wreckage were loaded onto a container truck which was escorted under tight security to the Wilson Airport for safe-keeping.

Once at the Wilson Airport, the container will be tightly guarded, with its keys kept by Rawal and members of the commission.

“We are also inviting the family members to come up with their padlock and lock it up,” she said.

Rawal said the team is now ready to start formal sittings where crucial witnesses and members of the public with any piece of information are urged to volunteer.

She has pledged that the Commission of Inquiry will do everything possible to ensure transparency as they seek to unravel the cause of the devastating crash that also killed two bodyguards and two pilots.

“And that is why I am urging anyone with any kind of information to come up and share with us,’ she said.

Saitoti, Ojode and four police officers died when the police helicopter went down on the fateful day as they headed to Ndhiwa in Western Kenya for a church service.

There have been speculations as to the cause of the crash, with a section of legislators claiming in Parliament that it was an assassination possibly perpetrated by drug lords, given the two ministers were actively involved in related investigations.


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