End of Road For 3 Cops in Lawyer Willie Kimani Murder

  • File image of lawyer Willy Kimani
    File image of lawyer Willy Kimani
    FILE
  • Three police officers accused of killing lawyer Willie Kimani, his client Josephat Mwendwa and taxi driver, Joseph Muiruri have been found guilty of murder.

    In a judgement delivered on Friday, July 22, Justice Jessie Lessit ruled that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the three conspired to murder their victims and went on to execute a well-oiled plan to execute the victims.

    One of the four who were on trial was, however, released after the prosecution failed to link him to the murder.

    The three found guilty are Fredrick Leliman, Stephen Cheburet and Sylvia Wanjiku. Leonard Mwangi, who was the fourth accused, was set free. 

    The accused persons in the murder of lawyer Willie Kimani from left Peter Ngugi, Leonard Mwangi, Stephen Cheburet and Fredrick Leliman during the final judgement at Milimani law Courts on Friday July 22, 2022
    The accused persons in the murder of lawyer Willie Kimani from left are Peter Ngugi, Leonard Mwangi, Stephen Cheburet and Fredrick Leliman during the final judgement at Milimani law courts on Friday, July 22, 2022
    Kenyans.co.ke

    Also found guilty was Peter Ngugi, a police informer accused of helping the three execute the murder plan.

    The four were found guilty on all three counts of murder. 

    The judge stated that the prosecution had proved that the three officers had acted with the common intention of harming the Mavoko three. 

    She directed that those convicted be held until their sentencing on September 28.

    Lessit ruled that Leliman - who had shot Mwenda during a police stop in 2015 - was the chief architect of the murder and started planning the execution of the boda boda rider after the incident was reported to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA).

    The Judge stated that the prosecution provided evidence to prove that a meeting between Leliman and one of the accused officers at a bar in Machakos county took place and Leliman lamented that the case would get him sacked.

    Further, Lessit noted that Ngugi - the police informer - distanced himself from the murder after he testified that he was tasked with tracking the Mavoko three after he was informed that police were investigating them.

    Before making her ruling, Justice Lessit noted that the defence team had requested that she recuses herself from the case following her promotion to the Appellant Court.

    However, she maintained that her continued hearing of the case was constitutional as the court had dragged for too long. She also noted that the matter was of public interest if she had recused herself, it would have been an injustice to the family.

    "The court has taken five years to hear the case, hampered by many factors, and the most challenging being the pandemic which shut down courts for a certain period," she stated.

    Despite being acquitted Mwangi is still facing murder charges before Justice George Odunga. He was charged alongside the three convicted cops in last month.

    murder