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Frederick Leliman Former Kenyan Policeman Sentenced To Death For Murder
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Frederick Leliman: Former Kenyan Policeman Sentenced To Death For Murder

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A Kenyan former policeman was sentenced to death on Friday for the murder of a human rights lawyer, his client and a taxi driver.

Frederick Leliman and three others were convicted of carrying out the murders in 2016, in one of a series of cases of alleged police brutality and extrajudicial killings in Kenya.

Lawyer Willie Kimani was representing a motorcycle taxi operator who was suing Leliman for shooting him at a traffic roadblock. Leliman later started threatening and intimidating the man.

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The bodies of Kimani, his client Josephat Mwendwa and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri were discovered in the Ol-Donyo Sabuk River, in the east of the country, days after they were reported missing.

Evidence produced in court showed that the three were abducted after a court session on June 22, 2016, were briefly locked up and then were taken out and murdered in an open field. Their bodies were discovered on July 1.

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Leliman was given a death sentence, while former officers Stephen Cheburet and Sylvia Wanjiku received sentences of 30 and 24 years, respectively, and police informer Peter Ngugi was jailed for 20 years. A fourth former police officer, Leonard Mwangi, was acquitted.

Those sentenced to death in Kenyan courts serve a life sentence. Kenya’s last execution was in 1987.

The four have 14 days to file an appeal.

The murders triggered a series of protests by lawyers and human rights defenders because Kenyan police have in the past been accused of brutality and extrajudicial killings but very few officers have been convicted.

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