Six police officers accused of the extrajudicial killing of two brothers from Kianjokoma in Embu County want their bodies exhumed.
Through their lawyer Danstan Omari, the suspects filed an application at the Milimani Law Courts on Thursday, August 26, seeking suspension of the prosecution to allow for fresh investigations.
The six; Benson Mbuthia, Consolota Kariuki, Nicholas Cheruiyot, Martin Wanyama, Lilian Cherono and James Mwanikiwere, want the court to order that an inquest be conducted first before any charges are preferred against them.
“We want an inquest into the brothers’ deaths conducted before the suspects are formally charged. As a result, we are asking the court to issue an exhumation order and allow for fresh postmortem,” said Omari.
They argue that when the first postmortem was conducted, their chosen pathologists were not present.
The cops insisted that the deceased brothers, Benson Njiru, 22, and Emmanuel Mutura, 19, “in a suicidal act while escaping lawful custody jumped out of the moving police vehicle thus succumbing to injuries.”
A lawyer representing the brothers’ family, Muchangi Gichugu, said they would oppose the suspects’ applications.
“The boys’ autopsies were conducted in the presence of police, the Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU), the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), lawyers, both private and government pathologists and representatives of the family. The examination, having been conducted in the presence of all these people, was credible. We shall, therefore, oppose any exhumation applications filed by the defence,” said Gichugu.
Omari said the autopsy findings that the brothers died of blunt force trauma “could be as a result of the fatal fall after jumping off the vehicle”.
The six officers also want the court to order that their phones be released so as to transfer money to their families and lawyers.
“A conservatory order be issued restraining IPOA, DPP and IG from commencing any criminal proceedings relating to the death of the deceased until the inquest is concluded on merit,” reads the petition.
They also want to be released on bail pending the conclusion of an inquest in respect of the death of the two brothers.
The officers are still being held at Capitol Hill police station and their matter will be mentioned next Tuesday.