NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 6 – If only the dead could speak, it’s often said and on Wednesday they ‘did.’
They, human rights lawyer Willie Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and their taxi driver Joseph Murimi, told of the torture they underwent prior to meeting their deaths at the hands of the very men duty bound to protect them – Administration Police.
Even in death they spoke through pathologist Andrew Kanyi Gachie who gave them that voice when he appeared before Justice Luka Kimaru in the High Court and gave a sense of what they underwent before their bodies were fished out of the Ol Donyo Sabuk River; and it was not pretty.
“My Lordship, having worked in the area of torture, sometimes we do say that some death can be extremely painful,” the veteran pathologist testified.
Nothing, he found in his forensic examination, was sacred to their “torturers” who went as far as inflicting injury on Kimani’s genitalia.
“Whoever was inflicting these injuries seemed to have had an affinity on the testicles and they crushed them.”
In total, the human rights lawyer suffered 14 injuries to his person but ultimately it was blunt force trauma to the head that did him in.
“The deceased had extensive fractures of the skull,” Gachie relayed to the court.
His client, Josephat Mwenda who had accused an Administration Police and now a suspect in his murder of trumping up charges against him, also died from blunt force trauma inflicted on his head, neck and chest.
Their taxi driver Joseph Muiruri wasn’t spared from suffering a painful death despite his bystander, collateral damage status and died from asphyxiation.
“We also noted that there were multiple injuries in various parts of the body but my Lordship the most remarkable one was a ligature mark. By ligature we mean a string or rope or something had been tied around his neck causing what we refer to as strangulation.”
The court was spared more gruesome details given concerns from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions that it would interfere with the prosecution of the four Administration Police officers currently being held for the murders.
Given the gruesome nature of the death that befell their friend in justice, it’s no wonder that the Law Society of Kenya tore into Safaricom on Wednesday for what they perceived to be withholding of information that could lead to the arrest, capture and eventual successful prosecution of all those who colluded in the abduction, torture and eventual execution of Kimani, Mwenda and Muiruri.
“We know because we’ve been part of other criminal cases and investigations that actually people are identified using the data and resources that are in the possession of Safaricom. We are aware that even the Directorate of Criminal Investigation and National Intelligence Service are able to use what is called triangulation to locate fairly accurately where different subscribers are,” LSK Nairobi Branch Chairman Charles Kanjama submitted before Justice Kimaru in the High Court.
Put on the defensive, Safaricom through lawyer Stephen Kiptinness, tried to impress upon the wounded lawyers that they were not the enemy and were not intentionally standing between them and retribution.
“Every licensee who deals in subscriber information is forbidden from getting into the content of a call, from carrying out call surveillance or looking at the content of Short Message Services (SMS). That is not to say that there isn’t any technology available; calls and SMSs are encrypted. You would have to be in possession of code running on a system that would allow you to decrypt the same including on WhatsApp calls, Blackberry Messenger calls. Now there is an agency in this country whose mandate it is to carry out surveillance, if the petitioners wished to look at content, perhaps a request ought to have been made to that agency.”
The High Court which the LSK enlisted to ensure literally no stone was left unturned in investigations into the brutal killing of Kimani, Mwenda and Muiruri, resumes its proceedings on Tuesday.