The trial of police officers accused of murdering IJM lawyer Willie Kimani and two others entered a crucial stage this week, with the prosecution tendering critical evidence that sought to place key suspects at the scene of crime.
Kennedy Mwadime- an investigator – was called to retrace the last movements of the car used by Willie, his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri who went missing on June 23, 2016.
The bodies of the three – badly mutilated and stashed in gunny bags – were retrieved at River Athi in Ol Donyo Sabuk on July I, a week after they were abducted outside Mavoko law court.
The high-profile murder case resumed on October 8 after a long adjournment. The case was initially expected to resume a week earlier on October 1 but was adjourned because Justice Jessie Lesiit who is handling the trial was engaged in other official duties.
Mwadime, a police investigator who works at Jogoo House based Integrated Communication Command Control Center, explained how they tracked a police radio and discovered, at some point, it was at an isolated field, where Willie, Mwenda and Muiruri are suspected to have been tortured to death.
The officer also retraced Willie’s final movement as captured by surveillance cameras.
He explained in detail how police use ICT security surveillance to monitor and nab criminals.
The Center, it was revealed, collects and stores information captured by intelligence video surveillance cameras installed on major roads within the city.
An Automatic Number Plate Recognition Solution (ANPRS) is also used to blacklist vehicles placed on a watch list.
The court also heard that the center is able to monitor, and store critical information captured by fourth generation police radios.
Mwadime told the court that he was asked by his seniors to retrace the last movements of five vehicles among them, KBX 126 C that was used by Willie, Mwenda and Muiruri on June 23 to attend court.
On that fateful day, surveillance cameras showed that the vehicle passed along Forest Road at 5 :53am and a few minutes later was seen at Museum Hill heading towards Westland area.
The images that were replayed before the judge showed the vehicle at other different locations including Waiyaki Way, Kinoo shopping center and at Langata Road at 6:28am.
Two occupants believed to be Willie and Muiruri are captured in several images at Multimedia University heading towards Rongai and at Mombasa Road heading towards Mlolongo area.
Surprisingly, at 12:27pm, the time the three men are said to have left Mavoko Law courts, the vehicle, in a different image was captured coming from Mlolongo area heading towards Cabanas.
This time, it had one occupant at the driver’s seat.
“This particular image shows a different occupant in the driver’s seat, my general observation is that the person on the driver’s seat is light skinned,” the witness said when asked to explain the discrepancy by the prosecution.
Administration police officers Fredrick Leliman, Stephen Cheburet, Sylvia Wanjiku and Leonard Maina Mwangi, and a police informer Peter Ngugi alias Brown have denied murder charges.
Mwadime said he was also tasked to track movement of all radios used within Mlolongo and Athi River area on that date. Of the nine radios reviewed, he said one, whose digits are 359 033 04 moved to different locations.
“We did a quick preview to confirm whether the radios were active on the network within the specific dates and times, this particular radio had a lot of movements and its coordinates showed that it was within Mavoko area at some time,” he said.
According to him, a further probe revealed that the radio was at Syokimau Police Post on June 23, between 12:20pm to 12:40pm. This is the time the prosecution believes Willie and the others were held at the post after being kidnapped outside Mavoko law courts.
The radio was later traced to Mlolongo Police Station at 15:20 to 15:40 and later at Syokimau Police Station at 18:40 to 19:00.
The same gadget later moved to an isolated field at Soweto area and which prosecution believes was the killing site. The frequency can be traced at the field between 19:40 and 20:00.
Later that night the radio was traced moving along Eastern bypass towards Thika superhighway at around midnight.
The prosecution believes the three men were abducted, held for hours at Syokimau Police Post and later killed at an open field within Mlolongo. The accused are suspected to have used Thika Superhighway enroute to Ol Donyo Sabuk where the bodies were dumped in a river.
The prosecution’s case is that the radio captured in all the locations was with Senior Sergeant Leliman, one of the four police officers suspected or killing the lawyer and two others.
At least 36 witnesses have testified with the prosecution saying they still have 8 more witnesses remaining to testify in the trial that began in 2016.
The hearing will resume on November 12.