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Exclusive: Police were involved in the killing of Pakistani journalist, Ipoa says

By Nyaboga Kiage November 9th, 2022 3 min read

Police officers were involved in the killing of slain Pakistani journalist Mr Arshad Sharif, the Independent Policing and Oversight Authority (Ipoa) has said.

In an exclusive interview with Nairobi News, Ipoa chairperson Ms Anne Makori echoed an early statement issued by the National Police Service (NPS) that indeed the journalist was shot by officers attached to the General Service Unit (GSU).

According to Ms Makori, the findings were made after a Rapid Response Team was dispatched to the scene of the incident to launch investigations into what were the circumstances that led to the death of the journalist on October 23, 2022.

“I appraise that the team established that the police were involved in the shooting. That the matter falls within the mandate of Ipoa,” she told Nairobi News during the interview.

Ms Makori said they had also established that Mr Sharif died as a result of a gunshot wound on his head. She said that currently the matter was under full and thorough investigations to establish the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

“Ipoa is going to make appropriate recommendations once investigation is completed,” Ms Makori said.

Her sentiments come just hours after Pakistan Government said Kenya is aware of what transpired and that the journalist had been murdered.

Also read: Kenyan man whose car was mistaken for slain Pakistan journalist speaks

Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah further said the two brothers, Waqar and Khurram Ahmad, who were hosting Sharif in Kenya were not off the hook yet as they had a number of questions to answer.

The two brothers who are originally from Pakistan, but hold Canadian passports, also own Ammodump Kweni joint, which was the last place Sharif, 50, was seen alive.

“It is murder and it seems to be a prima facie, the two brothers in Kenya are still not out of it,” the minister said.

Prima facie Arshad Sharif was murdered. It was a targeted murder and not a case of mistaken identity,” he added as he rejected a version of the incident given by the Kenya police that Mr Sharif was shot and killed by officers at a roadblock on Magadi Road in Kajiado County.

Prima facie is a common term amongst lawyers which means that based on the first impression something is accepted as correct until proven otherwise.

Sanaullah said the three-member security team that was sent to Nairobi to unravel the death of the journalist has given him a brief.

The minister added that the investigation being conducted by Pakistan is yet to be completed and a plan is underway to send the trio to Dubai, where Sharif fled before coming to Kenya.

Also read: What Pakistan is demanding from Kenya over Arshad Sharif’s murder

He said the Pakistani government had already written to the Chief Justice of the country to form an independent commission to investigate the killing of the journalist.

“It is now the role of the Chief Justice to nominate the person who will head the commission of inquiry,” he said.

Mr Sharif who was killed on the night of October 23, 2022, was a former reporter and Television Anchor with ARY TV which is based in Pakistan.

He was known to be a close ally to former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and was on the run from his native home after he was booked on charges of sedition and peddling an “anti-state” narrative against the current government headed by Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif

In a statement that was also dismissed by the family of Mr Sharif which said that Kenyan officers were not consistent, police said that the journalist was killed at a roadblock by General Service Unit (GSU) officers who were in pursuit of a motor vehicle that had been stolen from the City Center.

In a letter penned by Riffat Ara Alvi, his mother, she accused Kenya of changing statements about the circumstances of her son’s death.

“Kenyan police changed their stance and statements three to four times. Well even before the investigation team had left for Kenya, federal ministers started airing different fabricated stories in relation to the death of my son which are available on media reports,” Ms Alvi said in a letter to Pakistan Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial.

She requested that the Chief Justice form a high-level judicial commission to probe the circumstances of the death of her only son.

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