6 Years of Anguish, Pain & Terror as Willie Kimani Murder Case Ends

  • File image of lawyer Willy Kimani
    File image of lawyer Willie Kimani
  • UPDATE Friday, July 22: Three officers and a civilian have been found guilty in the murder case of Lawyer Willie Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri. 

    In her judgement, Justice Jessie Lessit stated that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that officer Fredrick Leliman, Stephen Cheburet, Sylvia Wanjiku and informer Peter Ngugi had orchestrated the murder of the Mavoko three.

    However, officer Leonard Mwangi was set free after the prosecution failed to provide sufficient evidence against him.

    The High Court will today deliver its ruling against four police officers who were charged with the murder of lawyer Willie Kimani, his client - Josephat Mwenda and their taxi driver, Joseph Muiruri. 

    Justice Jessie Lessit will issue the verdict after both the prosecution and the defence team called witnesses and provided evidence in court, in a case spanning six years. 

    The four accused police officers Fredrick Leliman, Stephen Cheburet, Sylvia Wanjiku, and Leonard Mwangi.

    Kenyans.co.ke presents a chronological brief into the case which dates back to 2015.

    Undated file image of two men in police handcuffs
    A file image of two men in police handcuffs

    April 10, 2015:  Josephat Mwenda is accidentally shot in the hand by police officer Fredrick Leliman after being stopped by the cop while riding his motorbike.

    The Boda Boda rider is then charged falsely for resisting arrest- a decision that leads him to file a complaint with Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) 

    December 14, 2015: Mwenda is arrested by Leliman and charged afresh with violating traffic laws.

    February 4, 2016: International Justice Mission (IJM) takes over the case, and assigns it to lawyer Willie Kimani. 

    February 24, 2016:  IJM seeks to put Mwenda under witness protection following incidents of threats and intimidation from officer Leliman.

    Mwenda's legal team faces challenges to put the boda rider under witness protection as he is facing criminal charges.

    March 16, 2016:  Leliman is summoned by IPOA over a complaint of misconduct.

    April 2016: Kimani and Mwenda are detained after a court hearing in Mavoko by police officers.

    The officers explain that they were interrogating them over a robbery case in Meru. The two are later released.

    June 23, 2016: Lawyer Kimani, Mwenda and taxi driver- Muiruri are abducted after leaving court. The three are held in a police container at an AP camp 

    The three are allegedly killed by the officers at around 10 pm even as IJM launches a search team for the three.

    Suspects in the murder of lawyer Willie Kimani, his client and a taxi driver, appear before a judge in a Milimani court.
    Suspects in the murder of lawyer Willie Kimani, his client and a taxi driver, appear before a judge in a Milimani court.

    June 24, 2016: IJM files a missing persons report as detectives begin investigations into their disappearance.

    June 30 - July 1, 2016:  The bodies of three are found in a river in Ol Donyo Sabuk. 

    July 1-5 2016:  The four officers are arrested and charged and officially with murder on July 18. 

    August 23, 2016: Police informant Ngugi is arrested in connection with the murder and charged alongside the four officers.

    November 10, 2016 - 2022: The trial commences as the prosecution lines 44 witnesses to testify against the five.

    July 22, 2022: Justice Jessie Lessit to deliver the ruling. 

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