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December 10, 2018

Ex-robbery suspect was strangled, says pathologist

Pathologist Peter Ndegwa, John Githinji’s family members and human rights activists at the Nyeri County Referral Hospital on Monday /EUTYCAS MUCHIRI
Pathologist Peter Ndegwa, John Githinji’s family members and human rights activists at the Nyeri County Referral Hospital on Monday /EUTYCAS MUCHIRI

Former suspected violent robber and Mungiki follower was strangled before his body was thrown into a Nyeri town dam, post-mortem results show.

Family members say John Githinji went missing on Sunday. His body was discovered on Thursday thrown in a dam in Iriga.

Pathologist Peter Ndegwa of Independent Medico Legal-Unit (IMLU) told journalists that the cause of death was neck compression both by manual and ligature strangulation.

He spoke after performing the autopsy on Githinji’s body at the Nyeri County Referral Hospital on Monday. Nyeri Level 5 Hospital pathologist John Muthuri was present.

Ndegwa said there were signs of asphyxia in the internal organs. Asphyxia arises when the body is deprived of oxygen. The pathologist, however, noted there were no signs of torture, defensive injuries or struggle.

“Either the person who attacked him was stronger than he or there was more than one person and this could have been the reason he did not defend himself,” Ndegwa said.

The body of the father of three had decomposed by the time it was retrieved. “Usually the body floats after some time because of formation of gases. I hear there was a stone tied to the body so the buoyancy must have exceeded the weight of the stone,” Ndegwa said.

He said there is need to look for circumstantial evidence to know what really happened.

“What happened is important because it will tell us whether it was murder, suicide or accident,” Ndegwa said.

Muslims for Human Rights rapid response officer Francis Auma urged the government to investigate who killed Githinji.

Githinji’s mother, Maria Wangari, urged the government to bring to book those behind her son’s death.

The post-mortem was witnessed by human right groups including IMLU, Infoaction, Muhuri and the Independent Police Oversight Authority.

Githinji surrendered alongside Joseph Kang’ethe on October 22 after realising they were being sought by police. Interior CS Fred Matiang’i ordered the operation soon after the administrator’s shooting in August.

 

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