Police Officers charged with Sh72 million robbery say they were tortured

A court has directed three police officers charged with theft of Sh75 million to file their complaints about torture with the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA).

While giving the directive, Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi said complaints about police harassment are serious.

“There is a body mandated to deal with the issues of police torture and I direct the accused to file their complaints with IPOA,” riled Andayi.

Police officers Vincent Ayienda, Dancun Luvuka and Boniface Mutua, claimed they were tortured by their colleagues during the arrest.

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“My clients are still nursing wounds, they were tortured at different areas including Pangani Police Station," said defence lawyer Cliff Ombeta.

Andayi added that it would be a serious violation of human rights if indeed it is true that the police are torturing the accused persons in police cells.

When the magistrate asked the prosecution to respond to the claims, it said that they did not have a formal complaint by the suspects.

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“We can only respond to the allegations of torture if there are formal complaints filed in court,” said prosecutor Jecinta Nyamosi.

Ombeta said despite their efforts to seek for medical attention, the police declined them.

He added that the allegation by the prosecution that they were taken to Mbagathi Hospital was false because he had not been served with medical records.

“Now that the officers have reported about the torture by the police, they might be at great risk and we are seeking for courts order of protection,” said Ombeta.

Arresting officers

The accused claimed the arresting officers took them to a bush where they tortured by covering their heads with polythene bags.

The three officers are among six suspects charged yesterday with Sh75 million robbery with violence and malicious damage to property.

The three others are Vincent Owuor, Alexander Mutuku and Francis Muriuki.

All the accused denied the two charges.

In the first count, the court was informed that on September 5, 2019 at Nairobi West shopping centre in Langata Constituency, they robbed G4S staff of Sh75,483,000 and other items.

The items which belonged to the security company include 38 cassettes, 13 purge bins and 13 canvas bags all worth Sh1,267,000.

The court was informed the suspects threatened to use violence on the G4S staff.

In the second count, they were accused of destroying the items in Thogoto forest, Kiambu County.

They all denied the charges and requested for favourable bond terms.

In opposing their release, the prosecutor said they were a flight risk and that other suspects were still at large.

“Due to complexity of the investigations which is being carried out in various parts of the country, the accused should be denied bail,” said Nyamosi.

Magistrate Andayi, however, released the suspects on Sh1 million bond each and directed them to report to DCI offices when required.

The matter will be mentioned on September 18.

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Independent Policing Oversight AuthorityIPOASh72m heist