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Ex-policeman gets death penalty for lawyer’s murder

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A Kenyan court has sentenced to death a former Kenyan policeman for the killing of a prominent human rights lawyer and two other people more than six years ago.

Kenya does not carry out death sentences, even though the death verdict is allowed by law.

Two other ex-policemen and a civilian were sentenced to between 15 and 39 years in prison for the murder of lawyer Willie Kimani, his client and a taxi driver in June 2016.

The four were last year each found guilty of three counts including murder.

Ex-policeman gets death penalty for lawyer's murder
Human rights lawyer Willie Kimani was murdered in 2016

All the four can appeal their conviction and sentencing within 14 days.

In her judgement, Justice Jessie Lessit said the evidence produced during the trial had shown that the murders were premeditated and the victims brutally tortured and killed.

The bodies of Willie Kimani, Josephat Mwendwa and Joseph Muiruri were found after they had been dumped in a river on the outskirts of the capital, Nairobi.

Mr Kimani was defending motorbike taxi driver Josephat Mwenda who had accused policeman Fredrick Leliman – one of the three officers found guilty – of shooting him for no reason at a traffic stop in 2015.

Mr Kimani, Mr Mwenda and their taxi driver Joseph Muiruri were last seen on 23 June 2016 at a police station.

Their mutilated bodies were recovered two weeks later in a river almost 100km (62 miles) from the city.

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