A trial court has been asked to nail a senior police officer charged with the murder of a suspect at a police station in Nairobi to stem rising cases of police brutality.
Prosecutor Alloys Kemo told the court to order Chief inspector Nahashon Mutua be put on his defence for the gruesome murder of Martin Koome Manyara at Ruaraka Police Station.
He said: the problem of police brutality is an issue that must be addressed and culpable officers must be held accountable for their actions.
The prosecutor said significant findings by a doctor indicated that Koome succumbed to injuries inflicted on him after his arrest and short detention at the Ruaraka Police Station.
“He had severe head injuries… Injuries on hands suggesting he was trying to defend himself, internal injuries which included five fractured ribs on the left and four on the right. There was extensive bleeding on his neck and a blow on his face exposing the teeth.”
Kemo said there was bleeding in the skull, and the deceased bled on both sides of the brain.
“The pathologist concluded that the multiple injuries on the chest, head were all due to blunt trauma and consistent with an assault,” Kemo said.
Drum of water
He said the prosecution had proved Koome had died as a result of severe torture caused by lethal and severe beating meted out by the senior cop. He was assaulted with a metal pipe and his head emersed in a drum of water
“Chief inspector Mutua’s actions at Ruaraka Police Station were that he assaulted Koome so severely that he must have known that the injuries would result in grievous harm,” Kemo told justice Stella Mutuku.
He said the prosecution relied on the evidence of credible eyewitnesses who were cellmates of the deceased.
Koome had been arrested after a domestic brawl with his wife in which he had threatened to kill his 6-month old daughter.
When the police took him to KNH 20 hours after the assault, he had a swollen face, deep cuts, and his wife could barely recognize him, the court heard.
His clothes were still wet from “water dunking”- a torture style perfected by US soldiers in Iraq where a suspect’s head is forcefully emersed under water.
The police while at KNH left Koome lying in the casualty area and lied to doctors that he had been subjected to mob justice, “a theory the prosecution dismissed with the contempt it deserved.”
Kemo said Koome was dehumanized and brutalized by a person who was supposed to protect him.
“After realizing Koome had died, a scheme was hatched to lay blame on a cellmate,” Kemo said.
The prosecutor told the court that the police officer had been overheard shouting that the late Koome had intended to rape his six-month-old daughter but there was no justification for his brutality.
“He also claimed there had been a fight in the cells but the injuries on the deceased spoke volumes.”
The court heard the suspect lay in cells for six hours with his injuries in the full knowledge of the OCS.
“When he was arrested, he was ok… He sustained injuries at the police station, they cannot be allowed to take away the life of an innocent Kenyan.”