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The 'Facebook' factor in murder case

BUSINESS
By | December 15th 2010

By WAHOME THUKU

One of two men charged with the murder of former Assistant Minister Patrick Muiruri’s son was allegedly identified through a social network site.

A lawyer claimed yesterday the picture of Alex Chepkonga was downloaded from his Facebook page by Mr Muiruri and presented to Attorney General Amos Wako.

While cross-examining Muiruri, lawyer Philip Murgor said the AG forwarded the picture to police investigators and directed that the suspect be arrested.

But the former Gatundu North MP denied the claims. "I don’t even know what Facebook is. I first heard about it when my son was killed; that his Facebook was full within an hour," he told trial judge Mohamed Warsame.

Bar brawl

In the case, Chepkonga and Police Inspector Dickson Munene are being tried for the murder of James Ng’ang’a Muiruri on January 24, last year.

Ng’ang’a, who was a law lecturer in the UK, is said to have been shot dead following a bar brawl at Crooked-Q nightclub in Westlands, Nairobi. He had been drinking the night away in the company of his brother John Gachara and a Jedidah. On the other hand Chepkonga was in the company of four other men.

The two groups began fighting and the club security guards threw them out before they drove away in four cars. It is said Ng’ang’a met his death several metres down the road.

Muiruri, however, agreed to have met Wako and the Director of Public Prosecutions in his quest for justice over the death of his son. "I could have met anyone, including God, as I was devastated," he told the court.

When Murgor insisted Muiruri had taken Chepkonga’s picture to the AG, the former MP asked him whether he was "bringing your differences with Wako to this court?"

Famous gangster

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Muiruri said his son Gachara was asked by the police to record a statement an hour after the incident but was still confused and could not recollect all the details properly. He recorded another statement later.

Muiruri, a retired police officer, told the court he also met the UN special rapporteur on human rights, Prof Philip Alston, who by then was investigating extra-judicial killings by the police. He said he told Alston that after Munene surrendered himself to police, he claimed to have shot a famous gangster and Mungiki sect member.

A former Gigiri CID boss Patrick Kiswii produced a pistol allegedly used by Munene in the killing.

Defence lawyers are seeking to produce a letter from Wako to the then Police Commissioner Hussein Ali on the probe. Hearing continues today.

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