Three Kenyan Police Officers Were On Friday, February 3, 2023, Sentenced For The Murder Of A Human Rights Lawyer.
Three Kenyan police officers were on Friday served sentences ranging from 24 years in jail to the death penalty for the brutal murder of a human rights lawyer and two other people.
In June 2016, the bodies of lawyer Willie Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda, and driver Joseph Muiruri were discovered wrapped in sacks and thrown in a river near Nairobi.
In Kenya, where many people distrust the police, the torture and killing of the three men provoked a wave of protests.
A high court judge found three officers, including a woman, and a police informant guilty of murder in July of last year.
A fourth officer was found not guilty.
Judge Jessie Lessit condemned former police Fredrick Leliman to death on Friday.
Two additional officers were sentenced to 30 and 24 years in jail, respectively.
The informant was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
"The court finds the murder most foul with its meticulous planning and execution," Lessit said.
She singled out Leliman for acting "in flagrant abuse of his office" and masterminding the murder.
Kimani was defending a motorbike taxi driver who accused Leliman of randomly shooting him during a traffic stop in 2015.
Kimani's wrists were bound with rope when officials discovered his body, three of his fingers had been severed, and his eyes appeared to have been gouged out.
Cliff Ombeta, a lawyer for the three officers, told AFP that they will all appeal their convictions.
"This judgment cannot stand the test of any court of appeal judges," he said.
Extra-judicial killings are rife in Kenya, and justice is rare with few examples of police being held to account.
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