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KDF officer to be charged for killing man in Garissa

By Julius Chepkwony | Mar 24th 2022 | 3 min read

Senior Principal Magistrate Esther Kimilu in a ruling delivered on Wednesday ordered the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to take necessary action against Private Hassan Mire. [Getty Images]

A magistrate's court in Nairobi has ordered the trial of a Kenya Defence Force officer for killing a civilian.

Senior Principal Magistrate Esther Kimilu in a ruling delivered on Wednesday ordered the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to take necessary action against Private Hassan Mire.

The magistrate issued the orders in an inquest instituted in 2020 following the killing of Abdullahi Kassim Yussuf on the night of July 31, 2019.

Mire had admitted to shooting and killing Yussuf and told the court that he was employed to kill or be killed.

The court noted that Mire gave no justification in law to shoot to kill the deceased.

“Although the officer stated he is employed to kill or to be killed, the court finds no justification for one to lose a life. The Constitution of Kenya guarantees all citizens right to life, the Kenya Defence Forces is employed to protect our country from external attacks but not kill her citizens,” the court ruled.

The unarmed Yussuf died after being shot thrice. At the close of the inquest, 15 witnesses had testified.

Among those who testified were Ibrahim Aden, a businessman operating a hotel business in Garissa town, Hussein Mohamed, and Mire.

Mohammed testified that he was watching football at Aden’s hotel between 11.00 p.m. and almost midnight when the deceased went to the hotel.

He said they were three of them and at around 12.10 am, they left the hotel and everyone went their separate ways. Mohammed said the deceased was not armed and was not engaged in drugs.

Inspector of Police one Duncan Orieng told the court that he received a call from this colleague called Lang'at who was the in-charge of the Police Training College North Eastern Region.

Lang'at said informed him that he had received a call from a Military Officer based at Garissa Military Camp saying that a person who had entered their compound was asked to stop and defied the instructions and was eventually shot dead.

Yussuf’s body was found lying in a pool of blood outside the camp.

Mire in his testimony said he saw the deceased approaching and challenged him to stop and identify himself. He admitted that he gave a warning shot when the intruder defied orders to stop.

His colleague Private Julius Macharia he said also gave a warning shot but the man ran towards the airstrip. On the warning shots, another officer came out to respond. The intruder turned back and ran towards the main gate. It was at the point he shot him three-time and died on the spot.

In a cross-examination led by the family's lawyer Stephen Mogaka, Mire confirmed that as per the training, a person is shot on the lower limbs to disable him. He, however, shot him in the chest.

"I am the officer who shot and killed the deceased. I did one warning shot then I shot him three times; on his hip joint and two to his chest. It was my decision to shoot to kill. I had a G3 Rifle as per the firm issue register. I shot him with an AK47 rifle. I did not have a G3 rifle at that time. I had not signed for the AK47 Rifle,” he stated.

The court noted that it was not clear why Private Mire made such a hasty decision to shoot and kill the deceased.

The court said the issue of shooting to kill on the spot of a civilian who is not armed is a point of interest in the inquest proceedings.

An autopsy on the body of the deceased confirmed two different firearms must have been used to kill the deceased.

The postmortem reports also indicated the gunshot wounds were inflicted at a close range.

“I have therefore formed an opinion an offence has been committed by a known person namely Private Hassan Muse Mire. I hereby make a recommendation that criminal proceedings may be instituted accordingly. The orders shall be served upon the DPP for the necessary action,” ruled the court.

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