NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 6 – Detectives investigating the killings of lawyer Willie Kimani and two others say they have made remarkable progress after identifying the scene where the murders are believed to have been committed.
They are now keen on identifying two to three people – most likely civilians – who collaborated with four detained police officers in executing the killings, according to a senior officer briefed on the investigations but who cannot be named for lack of authority to brief journalists on an active probe.
“The progress is very good because the site (of the killings) is now known,” he said, “what is remaining is the rest of the suspects involved and weapons used.”
Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri were abducted on their way from the Mavoko Law Courts before they were taken to the Mlolongo AP camp where they were detained.
Investigators say the three were not booked in the Occurrence Book, a major violation of the Police Standing Orders.
Kenyan sleuths -with the assistance of Federal Bureau of Investigations detectives – say they believe the three were tortured and eventually murdered at an open field near a cigarette company in Mlolongo.
The officers spent a better part of Tuesday evening combing the field as they pieced together evidence to be used in court against the four police officers detained over the killings that have shocked Kenyans.
Capital FM News has learnt that the suspects were dragged out of the Mlolongo Administration Police camp at night with their heads covered in polythene bags, before they were tortured, bludgeoned to death and their bodies packed in sacks.
The bodies were then taken to Ol Donyo Sabuk River in Kilimambogo where they were dumped, and the vehicle belonging to the taxi driver abandoned on the Nakuru-Naivasha highway.
The investigators, our source said, are relying on CCTV footage that captured the movement of the vehicle from Mlolongo to where it was dumped – as well as information from mobile phones of the slain victims.
“The officers are also analyzing phone records of the officers who are in custody to see if matches other crucial elements of the investigation so far,” another officer said.
The officers will remain in custody for 14 days from Monday following an order by the High Court.
Those in custody are Sergeant Fredrick Leliman, Sergeant Leonard Mwangi, Corporal Stephen Chebulet and Constable Silvia Wanjiku.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss Ndegwa Muhoro was summoned to court Tuesday for an update on the ongoing investigations.
He is the one who revealed the FBI’s involvement in the probe.
A report on post-mortems conducted on the three bodies show that they were bludgeoned to death using blunt and sharp objects after being tortured and parts of their bodies like ears, fingers chopped off and eyes gorged out from some of them.
The report will be tabled in court on Wednesday.
The killings have angered lawyers, whose professional body – the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) – has organised street protests countrywide since Monday to demand tougher action from the government and an end to extra-judicial killings.
On Wednesday, LSK Chairman Isaac Okero said the protests will start from Milimani Law Courts to the Judiciary and later the National Police Service Headquarters where they will drop a petition demanding the resignation or sacking of Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet. Another petition calling for the removal or resignation of Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery will be handed at Harambee House.
But Boinnet has dismissed the calls for his resignation, while arguing that the killings were the work of “individual rogue police officers who were not under instructions from anyone high up.”
“The National Police Service does not condone extra judicial killings. We don’t have such policy at all and that is why we moved fast and arrested those involved,” the IG said.
But the lawyers and activists who have been holding protests in major towns accuse police of many other killings previously, with MPs weighing in a more damning statement issued on Tuesday.
“The Inspector General of Police should take responsibility for the killings of the police officers. He is the man in charge of the police,” Asman Kamama, chairman of the National Assembly Committee on National Security and Administration told a news conference at Parliament buildings.
Kimani Ichung’wah, MP for Kikuyu constituency said they had documented up to 70 killings or more enforced disappearances blamed on police.
“This cannot be allowed to continue, we must have action taken to end this cycle of impunity,” he said.
Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama, who spoke when the Senate discussed the killings, said the culture of impunity “is too much in this country because we have seen people arrested like criminals yet they are innocent people from their houses and others end up dead.”
A joint statement from European Union envoys urged the government to take firm action to end extra-judicial killings in the country so as to protect human rights as outlined in the Constitution.