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Prosecution loses bid to play Willie Kimani's murder scene video

Monday October 14 2019

Willie Kimani

Mr Peter Ngugi Kamau, a suspect in the murder of Willie Kimani, testifies at a Milimani court on February 20, 2019. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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The prosecution was dealt a blow in the trial of suspects charged with the murder of lawyer Willie Kimani and two others after the trial judge dismissed a bid to play a video of the crime scenes.

The video, recorded by assistant superintendent of police Joseph Muindi, captured Peter Ngugi, a former police informer explaining how the victims were executed and the places they were killed.

It was to be part of the evidence the prosecution would have relied on to convince the court that the accused persons were involved in the murder of Mr Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and a taxi driver Joseph Muiruri.

RULES

But Justice Jessie Lesiit declined to allow the prosecution play the video, saying there was no evidence that the police officer complied with the rules and procedures of the Evidence Act.

The judge added that it was also a mistake for the investigating officer, Mr Clement Mwangi, to be present at the scenes, when Mr Muindi recorded the accused person.

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According to the judge, the presence of the investigating officer was akin to soliciting for evidence from the accused person. The judge added that his presence was like “compulsory oral examination of the accused person in total disregard of the law and rules of evidence.”

Mr Muindi told the court last week that he was approached by Mr Mwangi to record Mr Ngugi as part of scene reconstruction.

OBJECTION

Through lawyer Kevin Michuki, Mr Ngugi objected the production of the video, which was made on August 10, 2016, arguing that the court should not allow him to incriminate himself.

Facing the trial are four police officers Fredrick Leliman, Stephen Cheburet, Sylvia Wanjiku and Leonard Maina Mwangi, and Mr Ngugi.

The victims were kidnapped after leaving the Mavoko Law courts on June 23, 2016, only for their bodies to be retrieved one week later, from the Athi River, near Donyo Sabuk police post, stashed in gunny bags.