MURDER TRIAL

Willie Kimani abduction 'took only three minutes'

Four APs and police informer were charged with the murder of the three

In Summary

• Chief inspector Clement Mwangi, an officer who investigated the killings, on Tuesday told court that the car the three were was stopped at a railway crossing line a few metres from Mavoko.

• Mwangi said the car, registration number KBX 126C, was stopped at Trans View area by the alleged abductors at 12.03pm.

Three of the five accused Leonard Mwangi, Stephen Cheburet and Fredrick Leliman with their lawyer Cliff Ombeta at Milimani law courts on September 6, 2021.
Three of the five accused Leonard Mwangi, Stephen Cheburet and Fredrick Leliman with their lawyer Cliff Ombeta at Milimani law courts on September 6, 2021.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

The abduction of human rights lawyer Willie Kimani and two others hours before they were brutally murdered took only three minutes, a lead investigator in the high-profile murder trial told court on Tuesday.

Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and driver Joseph Muiruri were abducted on June 23, 2016 as they left Mavoko law court after a hearing.

Chief inspector Clement Mwangi, an officer who investigated the killings, on Tuesday told court that the car the three were using was stopped at a railway crossing line a few metres from Mavoko.

Mwangi said the car, registration number KBX 126C, was stopped at Trans View area by the alleged abductors at 12.03pm.

“My Lady, the vehicle stopped at the railway line at a place called Trans View at 12.03pm. It stayed there for three minutes,” Mwangi said.

The witness, who was responding to questions from lawyer Cliff Ombeta who represents AP officers Fredrick Leliman and Stephen Cheburet, said the vehicle was seen again after 20 minutes at City Cabanas.

At that time, the prosecution believes Kimani, Mwenda and Muiruri had been taken to Syokimau AP camp, where they were held until about 7pm when they were moved to a field in Soweto and executed.

The vehicle was captured in a CCTV footage obtained from IC3 (Integrated Command Control and Communication).

The footage was produced in court in the early days of the trial. At City Cabanas, only one person was captured in the car, on the driver's seat.

The car was later found dumped at Kamirithu area in Limuru, Kiambu county.

Leliman and Cheburet are charged alongside Leonard Mwangi and Silvia Wanjiku. A police informer, Peter Ngugi, who recorded a confession detailing how the brutal kilings were carried out, is similarly facing murder charges.

Mwangi, while explaining to the judge about the connection between the accused persons, said Ngugi was introduced to Leliman by former OCS Stephen Lelei.

Lelei, who testified in the trial earlier, had told court he reported to his new station at Mlolongo police station on May 2016, a few days before the trio were murdered.

In his confession statement, Ngugi claims he was introduced to Leliman, who headed a police squad, by Lelei in April 2016.

“Can you confirm the details in the confession statement and what Lelei told this court regarding when he reported are contradicting?” Ombeta asked the witness.

But Mwangi said the confession statement was factual because that was what Ngugi told investigators.

Mwangi also told the court that investigators sought data from mobile companies that were captured at the scene of crime. The witness further said some numbers, including one fixed in a tracking device, were dropped from investigations.

“My Lady, we did not seek call data from this particular number because we realised it was a tracking device,” he said.

Mwangi had been asked by Ombeta why the number belonging to Pandi company was not investigated and probably charged since it was found at the same area as the numbers suspected to have been used by the accused.

The witness said he went to the company’s office in Westlands and inquired more of what the tracking device was doing at Kilimambogo on the night of the killings.

He said the phone number had been fixed in a truck.

Further, the witness told court that Leliman’s wife who is also an AP officer, was questioned regarding her vehicle, which police believe was used to transport the victims' bodies to Ol Donyo Sabuk River after the murders.

The wife’s car KCG 959H a Nissan Wingroad was produced in court last week as evidence in the trial.

Mwangi told the court that Leliman’s wife, Esther Nduta, told investigators her vehicle was at her home and did not “move that night.”