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August 21, 2018

Defence in Willie trial counters prosecution

Police officers from left to right  Leonard Mwangi Sylvia Wanjiku, Stephen Cheburet and Fredrick Leliman  at a Milimani court on Wednesday,November 29,2017 during the hearing of a case where they are charged with killing lawyer Willie Kimani,his client and a taxi driver./COLLINS KWEYU
Police officers from left to right Leonard Mwangi Sylvia Wanjiku, Stephen Cheburet and Fredrick Leliman at a Milimani court on Wednesday,November 29,2017 during the hearing of a case where they are charged with killing lawyer Willie Kimani,his client and a taxi driver./COLLINS KWEYU

The defence team in the murder trial of human rights lawyer Willie Kimani yesterday poked holes into evidence that places key suspects at the scene of murder.

David Chemilil of the Flying Squad positively identified a police pocket radio retrieved from Fredrick Leliman and whose signal has been traced to the alleged site of the murder.

Chemilil told trial judge Jessie Lesiit last month that the signal of the pocket radio assigned to Leliman was first traced near the Mavoko law courts on June 23, 2016, at around midday - the time Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and driver Joseph Muiruri are said to have been kidnapped.

The signals retrieved from the Integrated Command Control and Communication System – a police CCTV system were later traced at Syokimau police station and then within the Mlolongo area.

The witness also told the court the signal moved towards Mombasa Road at around 7pm before stopping in an open field believed to have been the place the three were killed.

According to the officer, a signal from the same gadget was traced leaving the area and moving towards the Eastern Bypass and later connecting to the Thika Superhighway at a few minutes past midnight. But yesterday, the officer was taken to task to explain why the frequencies were only detected at specific timings.

Lawyer Cliff Ombeta questioned the officer on what he knew about the suspect’s movements and about the motor vehicles they may have used on the night of the killings.

But he said he was not in a position to explain the technical bit on how the signals were retrieved, saying it should be explained by Kennedy Mwandime, another officer who retrieved the evidence. “We don’t have the pictures of the vehicles that transported the bodies of the deceased,” he said. Leliman is on trial alongside Stephen Chebulet, Sylvia Wanjiku, Leonard Maina and police informer Peter Ngugi. The prosecution claims Kimani, Mwenda and Muiruri were killed and their bodies, which were stashed in gunny bags.

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