By Willis Oketch
An attempt to bring justice and closure to the June 26, 2009 killing of two Administration Police officers in a suspected drug probe suffered a major setback after the Mombasa High Court stopped the arrest of key suspects who are serving police officers. And in a twist of events, the officers now claim they are being sacrificed and their proposed trial for murder
is politically motivated and also driven by pressure from the media. Cliff Ombeta, one of their lawyers, told the journalists outside the law courts on Tuesday that the Coast Provincial Police Commissioner who gave the orders to shoot the AP officers at the time should be the one on trial instead of his clients.
The suspects include former Flying Squad Commander for Mombasa Wiston Mwita who was deployed to Isebania after protests in the coastal city after the gunning down of AP inspectors Badi Said Mwanjirani and Juma Yusuf Mwagaatu in 2009.
Other suspects are Corporal M Mwonga, George Siama, Zakayo Chirchir, Nicholas Njagi, Raphael Munyao, Stanley Murungi and Cpl Joseph Kyunguti who were part of the squad that allegedly killed the two AP officers.
Their lawyers said on Tuesday they are scapegoats in a complicated investigation contrived to cover the masterminds of the officer’s killing.
Friends in high places
The matter is being watched closely in Mombasa which has a longstanding and entrenched narcotics problem because it has been alleged that Badi and Juma were investigating a drug haul in Ganjoni area of Mombasa when they were lured and killed on the orders of a senior police officer, believed to have been connected to the drugs’ kingpin. The senior police officer has since been transferred from the province.
Last year, KTN’s investigations team produced a daring expose of the cover-up that followed the seizure of Kenya’s largest ever cocaine haul in December 2004.
In a series of television features tagged ‘Paruwanja la Mihadarati’ ( Jicho Pevu) and ‘The Untouchables’ (Inside Story) the teams looked at the events surrounding the discovery of tonnes of cocaine in Malindi and Nairobi.
Senior Investigative Editor Mohammed Ali and Senior Investigative Reporter Dennis Onsarigo disclosed how several tonnes of the cocaine went missing, how key suspects were allowed to escape and how two State prosecutions were deliberately mishandled.
They also shone light on the drastic lengths to which Kenya’s drug barons and their friends in high places go to ensure their secrets remain protected. At least four police officers and one spy investigating or connected to drug-related cases have been killed in mysterious circumstances, the team reported. The police dismissed this as “alarmist” or false reporting. However, they are yet to explain the five killings cited in the report adequately.
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