Former Police Officer Sentenced To Death For Murder

Those who get a death sentence in Kenyan courts are given a life sentence. Kenyans were last put to death in 1987.

AP — NAIROBI, Kenya For the murders of a human rights attorney, his client, and a taxi driver, a former Kenyan policeman was given the death penalty on Friday.

In one of several instances of alleged police brutality and extrajudicial killings in Kenya, Frederick Leliman and three others were found guilty of the murders in 2016.

A motorcycle taxi driver who was suing Leliman for shooting him at a traffic checkpoint was being represented by attorney Willie Kimani. Later, Leliman began to intimidate and threaten the man.

Days after they were reported missing, the body of Kimani, his client Josephat Mwendwa, and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri were found in the Ol-Donyo Sabuk River in the country’s east.

The three were seized following a court hearing on June 22, 2016, were momentarily locked up, then were brought outside and killed in a field, according to evidence presented in court. On July 1, their bodies were found.

Leliman received the death penalty, while former policemen Sylvia Wanjiku and Stephen Cheburet were given sentences of 30 and 24 years, respectively, while police informant Peter Ngugi was given a 20-year sentence. Leonard Mwangi, a fourth former police officer, was found not guilty.

In Kenyan courts, those who get a death sentence are given a life term. Kenyans were last put to death in 1987.

The four have fourteen days to appeal.

Because Kenyan police had previously been accused of violence and extrajudicial killings but relatively few officers have been found guilty, the murders led to a wave of protests from attorneys and human rights advocates.

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