Widow of slain Pakistani journalist sues Kenyan police for murder

Slain Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif.

Javeria Siddique, the widow of a Pakistani journalist who was killed in controversial circumstances in Kenya, has sued the Kenyan police.

Siddique, on Wednesday, filed a case against officers from the GSU for the death of her husband, Arshad Sharif. Sharif, a prominent television journalist in Pakistan, died of gunshot wounds on October 23, 2022.

Officers from the GSU camp in Magadi are said to have shot at the vehicle in which the journalist was traveling after the driver allegedly defied orders by the police to stop.

The then-police spokesman, Bruno Shioso, said the officers from GSU had been informed by their counterparts in Nairobi that a car with similar registration details to the one Sharif was driving was reported stolen in Nairobi.

According to Shioso, GSU officers erected a roadblock to stop the car, but the driver defied the order to stop, prompting the officers to shoot at the vehicle.

A police report on the incident said the journalist died after the vehicle he was traveling in with his brother, Khurram Ahmed, on the Kueni-Kamukuru Murram road in the interior of Kajiado County was shot at.

The two brothers were traveling in a white Toyota Prado with registration number KDG 200M when they encountered a roadblock erected by the General Service Unit (GSU) officers.

The police said the officers had erected the roadblock following an alert that another vehicle, a white Mercedes-Benz ML350, whose registration number was given as KDJ 700F, had been stolen in Nairobi's Ngara area.

Detectives at the station immediately circulated the car's registration details. It is not clear whether they indicated the car's make and color.

However, the question of how the GSU officers at the roadblock failed to notice that the Pakistani's car was not the one circulated as stolen left more questions than answers.

The Associated Press has now reported that the widow wants Attorney General Justin Muturi, the National Police Service, and the Director of Public Prosecutions to charge in court officers accused of shooting the journalist.

According to court documents, the journalist's widow has also asked the court to direct Muturi to issue a public apology for the shooting of her husband by the police.

"I am suing the GSU because they committed the crime openly, then admitted that it was a case of mistaken identity. But for me, it was a targeted assassination because he was living in hiding in Kenya after receiving threats in Pakistan," AP reported after an interview on the phone.

Pakistan's Interior minister had said in Islamabad that the evidence regarding the death of Sharif was that he was a victim of a targeted killing and not an accidental shooting, as stated by the Kenyan Government.