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,  February 3, Three officers and a civilian were sentenced for the murder of Lawyer Willie Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri. 

In her judgement, Justice Jessie Lessit  sentenced Fredrick Leliman to death, while Stephen Cheburet and Sylvia Wanjiku received 30 years and 24 years in prison respectively.

Police informer Peter Ngugi was sentenced to 20 years. The judge acknowledged helping investigators unearth what transpired to the Mavoko three.

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

Undated file image of two men in police handcuffs
A file image of two men in police handcuffs after being apprehended in August 2019.

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

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

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

April 10, 2015:  Josephat Mwenda is accidentally shot in 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 misconduct complaint.

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

The officers explained 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 officers allegedly killed the three at around 10 pm, even as IJM launched 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 investigating their disappearance.

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

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

August 23, 2016: Police informant Ngugi is arrested concerning 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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