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Eyebrows raised as police conceal identities of missing suspects in lawyer Willie Kimani killing

By Standard Team | July 12th 2016
Lawyers march from the Milimani Law Courts to the central business district to protest the killing of Willie Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri, who were brutally murdered. [PHOTO: MAXWELL AGWANDA/STANDARD]

NAIROBI: Police are today expected to brief the court on the progress of investigations into the killings of lawyer Willie Kimani and two associates.

This comes even as authorities declined to divulge the identities of three fugitives, two believed to be police officers, who are being sought over the brutal murders.

Media inquiries about the identities of the trio and why police had not issued public notices to help apprehend the fugitives were rebuffed.

Law enforcement agencies routinely display the names and photos of fugitives to help track them down, but this has not happened in this case.

Yesterday, Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU) Director Peter Kiama asked police to hasten investigations and have all those involved charged with the murders.

"The police usually display the photos and give names of suspects if they are at large and we expect nothing less in this case. No one has been charged as yet, and Kenyans want to see that justice is done in this case," said Mr Kiama.

"The country, especially the civil society, is getting impatient. The Inspector General of Police gave a promise to expedite investigations and arrest the perpetrators. The longer the investigations take, the more likely the evidence will fizzle out," he added.

Senior Sergeant Fredrick Leliman, Sergeant Leonard Maina Mwangi, Corporal Stephen Chebulet and Constable Silvia Wanjiku Wanjohi last week appeared in court following the discovery of the bodies of lawyer Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri.

The court ordered they be detained for 14 days to allow investigations to be completed. Prosecutors said more individuals were being sought in relation to the killings.

Yesterday, IG Joseph Boinnet said the police were still looking for three suspects, including a man who drove the taxi that the three slain men were using to Kamirithu area, Limuru.

"We have four police officers in custody and are looking for three more individuals whom we have very strong reason to believe are in one way or another connected to the unfortunate killings.

"We are particularly eager to know who drove that taxi and we've worked hard using our own resources and those of other partners to find out who that individual is," said Mr Boinnet.

When contacted, Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro sought more time.

"Let us be patient because investigations are ongoing. We gave an undertaking of giving a report after 14 days," said Mr Muhoro.

Yesterday, Law Society of Kenya President Isaac Okero said Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers were today expected to report to court the progress of the probe.

"The investigations are continuing and they (police) ought to report tomorrow (today) on the status of investigations," Okero told The Standard.

This was in relation to an application the lawyers' body had filed after the disappearance of lawyer Kimani and two others.

But it has since emerged the suspects in custody are no longer co-operating with detectives, insisting they can only tell their story once those they claim committed the killings are arrested.

It is reported the four officers being held at Muthaiga, Pangani, Kileleshwa and Gigiri police stations, have insisted they were not at the crime scenes, and investigators have checked out their alibis.

Yesterday, defence lawyer Cliff Ombeta said his clients had agreed to become prosecution witnesses if their safety was guaranteed. The suspects in custody are expected back in court on Monday to take their pleas.

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