DPP orders probe into Meru blogger's murder

Director of Public Prosecutions  Renson Ingonga. [Standard, File]

 The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome to expedite the investigation into the murder of Meru-based blogger Daniel Muthiani Benard.

 Muthiani, also known as Sniper, went missing on December 2, and his body was discovered on December 16.

 The DPP, Renson Ingonga, revealed on Wednesday, January 3 that he had withdrawn a case filed at Maua Law Courts, where he had sought to detain the key suspect until the completion of investigations.

 He said he would proceed with another case filed at Kiambu Chief Magistrate’s Court, where he had obtained orders to hold the suspect for 14 days.

 Ingonga also directed the IG to forward the murder inquiry file to his office within seven days, adding that he would review the facts and evidence and issue appropriate directions.

 “The perpetrators shall be held liable irrespective of their status in society,” he assured Kenyans.

 Sniper, who was widely known for his political opinions, especially on the affairs of the Upper Eastern region, allegedly received a call on December 2, 2023, from a well-known acquaintance who wanted him to meet a politician in Meru town.

 He relayed the news to his wife and left for the meeting, but only confirmed his arrival at the destination to her, marking the last conversation between the couple. Since then, his phone had been off and no information of his whereabouts was heard until his body was discovered on December 17.

 A postmortem conducted on his body revealed that he died of asphyxia secondary to manual strangulation.

 Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has pledged to ensure that those responsible for the murder of Sniper will face justice. In a statement shared on his social media account, Kindiki stated that investigators are nearing the conclusion of their efforts to identify the individuals who enticed and tortured the young man, ultimately leading to his tragic demise.

 “Those accountable for orchestrating, financing, and executing the heinous murder of Daniel Muthiani, also known as Sniper, will face justice,” he affirmed.

 Kindiki’s statement comes in the wake of concerns raised by controversial lawyer Miguna Miguna and Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria regarding the IG’s silence on the investigation into Sniper’s murder.

 Miguna urged Kenyans to demand answers from top security officials, characterizing the murder as emblematic of a culture of impunity in the country.

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