Prior to starting work at her new post, newly appointed Appellate Court Judge Justice Jessie Lessit will finish the Willie Kimani murder case.
The most recent information, which comes five years after the mysterious abduction and deaths of human rights attorney Willie Kimani Kinuthia, his client Josephat Mwenda, and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri, puts an end to claims that the case will be retried or delayed.
The judge declared that she had received official instructions from Chief Justice Martha Koome to complete all of her partial hearing cases and outstanding judgements online.
Four police officers have been charged with murder, and the case has dragged on in court for the past two years.
Late in June, Willy Kimani’s family requested that the murder trial be expedited despite their concern for additional suffering brought on by their youngest son’s premature death at the height of his career.
Willie Kimani would have celebrated his tenth anniversary as a High Court Advocate today if he were still alive. This was a dream job he had pursued since he was a little child, albeit through difficulties only his parents could possibly comprehend.
“Mama yake aliuza sukuma, na mimi nilikuwa nachonga mawe,” his father, Paul Kinuthia, told Citizen TV.
“Alitaka kuwa wakili, alikuwa na shida nyingi sana. Sikuwa na kazi na mzee hakuwa na kazi. Niliuza mpaka ng’ombe na napeleka pesa shuleni, akaenda secondary akapita akatoka huko na A akaenda university,” said Elizabeth Wambui, Kimani’s mother.
A dream that ended abruptly on an unspecified day after June 23, 2016. In a case he was representing, Josephat Mwenda had accused an administrative police officer stationed at Syokimau AP Camp of assault that morning, and he arrived early for court.
“Willie Kimani woke up as usual, he prepared to go to work..that day he was going to Mavoko Law Courts with a client,” said his wife Hannah Wanjiku.
“That day he was to come back early, we were expecting him at around 2pm or 3pm…but it never happened.”
A public outcry began to emerge in the days that followed, with speculation that his representation of a client who had brought a complaint against a police officer to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) may have contributed to his disappearance.
“Since he got lost on a Thursday…by Thursday the following week, I did not think he would be alive,” added Hannah.
Four police officers were detained and charged with murder after it was discovered that they had planned the trio’s slaying.
Since 2016, 44 prosecution witnesses have testified, outlining the circumstances surrounding the three victims’ deaths and the eventual disposal of their bodies in an Oldonyo Sabuk river until their disintegrating remains were found one week after they vanished.
But the case has dragged on due to requests for release on bail and abstentions by parties ever since the trial judge Justice Jessie Lessit was nominated by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to join the Court of Appeal in July 2019.
.When it was last heard on December 10 of last year, it was unclear what would happen next because Justice Lessit will be moving to Mombasa on July 1.
“I would really request for Justice Lessit to finish the job…I would ask President Uhuru Kenyatta, would you want him to get justice? Even Chief Justice Martha Koome, I believe she’s a mother, if it was her son or daughter, would they ensure that they get justice?” Posed Hannah.
Kinuthia, Kimani’s father, responded, “Kwani hii ni kesi aina gani? Hashki yetu au ni nini? Tutakufa kabla?
He had a significant role in their lives. His peak was when he departed. He had already established his authority in human rights law at the young age of 32. Although the years may have passed, their feelings and memories have not.
Hannah ran out from their house to protect her two sons out of fear for Kimani’s tormentors.
“I left for the fear of the unknown, I didn’t know if those that killed Willie were chasing after us,” she said, amidst tears.
Her two sons, who lost their father when they were four and nine months old, are now older but have not yet really grasped what occurred.
The tragedy of June 2016 is still too fresh. Instead of celebrating the anniversary, they offer a brief prayer.
There are numerous murder cases that are pending in court with families left behind and suffering from painful memories, including Kimani’s murder trial along with two other cases.
For families like Kimani’s, whose parents are now 81 and 65 years old and unsure of their future, the wheels of justice move too slowly.
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