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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Ten years for cop who shot mate dead


A former police inspector in charge of crime at Malaba Police Station Alexander Kihara was jailed by a Busia court for 10 years after facing a charge of shooting dead police Corporal Mohammed Harrraw in Malaba town.
Inspector Kihara aged 53 years will serve five years on count one of manslaughter and another five years on count two of causing grievous harm. The sentences will run concurrently.
The accused appeared before the Busia chief magistrate Daniel Ogembo charged that on November 4 2011, he shot dead the late police corporal and also injured police constable Joseph Kirimi after shooting him in the left hand.
The deceased police corporal Harrow, Kirimi and Michael Muthiora were on night patrol duty within Malaba town when the incident happened at Mama Kevin hotel at around 9.00 pm.
The court had been told earlier that Inspector Kihara and the OCS were in the hotel when a suspect entered there while being followed by the three police officers before the shooting took place. Ogembo said that the OCS and Inspector Kihara saw the three officers passing near the hotel before the incident.
The deceased was rushed to Kocholia District Hospital where he died on arrival but Kirimi was treated and discharged. During the ruling, the magistrate said 15 witnesses gave evidence, including the former Teso North OCPD Eliphas Korir, former OCS Peter Ndungu and former Busia DCIO John Kemboi who was the investigating officer.
Ogembo said that out of the 15 witnesses, 11 of them gave same evidence which was a clear indication beyond any reasonable doubt that it was the accused person who shot dead Harrow and injured police constable Kirimi.
He said that according to the evidence which was given out, the accused was issued with a Ceska pistol No G 5961 with 15 rounds of ammunitions but when it was returned to the armoury, it was only having 12 rounds.
“It is beyond any reasonable doubt that it was the accused person who killed Harrow according to the evidence that was given by 11 witnesses in this case,” said the magistrate.
 Ogembo said that according to the evidence adduced, the second investigating officer Benson Labot, took the four Ceska pistols No G5961 for Kihara, G6038 to the late corporal Harrow, G8047 for Muthiora and G 6723 for Kirimi to the ballistic expert in Nairobi, to ascertain which firearm was used to kill the deceased.
He said that the ballistic expert confirmed that it was pistol No 5961 which had been issued by the accused that committed the crime. “The ballistic officer confirmed testing the four pistols that it was No G 5961 that was used to kill the deceased police officer on the material day,” said Ogembo.
 In his ruling, the magistrate said that the accused deserve a custodial sentence because he committed a serious offence which made an innocent officer to lose his life.
 The magistrate said that the accused will serve five years on count one of manslaughter and another five years on count two of causing grievous harm respectively. “The sentences will run concurrently but the accused person has the liberty to appeal within a period of 14 days,” Ogembo said during the ruling.
 Kihara who was putting on a checked shirt and pullover was whisked away by police officers from the court to another room where he was handcuffed immediately. In mitigation, his advocate Siro Ombaye told the magistrate to have leniency on the accused person saying that he has a wife and five children whom he cares for including his old parents.
“The accused is a sickly person and is likely to lose his job in case he is convicted,” Ombaye told the magistrate. Ombaye said that he will appeal in the High Court since he had applied for certified copies of the proceedings and judgment for that purpose.