Willie Kimani Death: A Kenyan court brought justice seven years after the human rights lawyer was abducted and killed brutally in June 2016.
Willie Kimani was a Kenyan human rights lawyer. He served at the International Justice Mission (I.J.M.) in Nairobi.
The late lawyer was also a member of the Law Society of Kenya and the Right Promotion Protection board member.
A Kenyan court convicted three Police officers and a civilian guilty of the murder of the lawyer and two others in June 2016.
The case sparked outrage across the country and brought attention to the numerous extrajudicial executions and missing cases that Kenyan Police allegedly carried out.
Finally, after seven-year, justice has been served. Let’s take a detailed look at Willie Kimani’s murder case in today’s article.
Willie Kimani Death Case: Frederick Leliman And Three Policeman Were Found Guilty
The human rights lawyer Willie Kimani and two other men – Josephat Mwenda and Joseph Muiruri – disappeared on 23 June 2016.
In 2016, Frederick Leliman and three others were convicted of the murders, which were part of a series of allegations of police brutality and extrajudicial killings in Kenya.
While Josephat was Willie’s client, Joseph was a taxi driver. Later it was revealed that the four members of Kenya’s Administration Police abducted them.
On 1 July of the same year, authorities recovered their bodies from the Ol-Donyo Sabuk River with their arms tied behind their backs. In addition, Willie, Mwenda, and Muiruri’s bodies showed signs of torture.
After three weeks of investigation, four Administration Police officers – Leonard Mwangi, Silvia Wanjiku, Stephen Cheburet, and Fredrick Leliman – were charged on 18 July 2016.
They were charged with three counts of murder and the disappearance of Willie and two other men. The late lawyer’s family called for the expedition of the murder trial on 24 June 2021.
One month after that, the four administration officials were found guilty of killing Kimani, his client, the taxi driver.
Willie Kimani Murder Fredrick Leliman Sentenced To Death
The four convicts faced sentences ranging from 20 years in prison to death.
On 3 February 2023, the first accused, Fredrick Leliman, was sentenced to death. The second accused, Stephen Cheburet, is ordered to serve 30 years in prison.
Likewise, the third (Sylvia Wanjiku) and fourth (Peter Ngugi) accused were sentenced to 24 years and 20 years in jail, respectively.
Justice Jessie Lesiit ordered at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi that the respective sentences would run concurrently.
The judge said the four men killed the human rights lawyer, his client and the taxi driver in the “most foul” condition.
Lesiit also directed the correctional facility management to deduct the time the convicts have spent behind bars during the trial from their respective sentencing.
Willie Kimani Was Married And Had Two Kids
Born on 21 April 1984, Kimani Willie was the son of Paul Kinuthia and Elizabeth Wambui.
The late human rights lawyer was married to Hanna Wanjiku. He was also a proud Father of two children.
Kimani Willie’s wife/widow said that “while the verdict might not bring Kimani back, it had delivered justice” She added it will be “a source of solace/comfort to their hearts.”
At least Kimani won’t be counted among those who underwent torture and were killed without receiving justice, Hanna added.
Willie’s employer, International Justice Mission, whose Kenyan director, Benson Shamala, said: “No one should suffer through what our friends went through, especially from the very persons tasked with protecting them.”
Since its founding ten years ago, Kenya’s Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has received more than 6,000 complaints, although few officers have faced legal action.