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Painful family matters: Cop’s kin speak out on lawyer Willie Kimani’s death

By Nyaboga Kiage February 6th, 2023 2 min read

The family of Mr Fredrick Leliman, who was the main suspect in the murder of Nairobi Lawyer Willie Kimani, has now appealed to the government to review his ruling, which saw him hit by the death penalty.

Ms Eunice Leliman, the mother of the main suspect, urged the court to release her son since the sentence was too tough for him.

Fredrick Leliman, one of the four convicts in the murder of lawyer Willie Kimani in the docks at Milimani Law Court for sentencing on December 16, 2022. The judge arraigned the sentencing to February 3rd 2023. Picture by Francis Nderitu

The woman who was joined by her husband Mr Stephen Leliman said that it was really absurd that her son was linked to the murder of the lawyer as she apologized to the relatives.

“I don’t have any jurisdiction on this matter so I leave it unto God, as he knows. I ask for forgiveness from Kenyans and urge them to assist in helping me to appeal in the case,” she said.

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She described her son as an honest and very upright man as she wondered why her son would be linked to the murder.

According to her husband, he was really shocked when he, for the first time, heard that the son had been linked to the death of the lawyer.

He also said that he never expected that the son will be given a very harsh penalty for their kin, who has been supporting them financially throughout his career.

He also wondered why the government has never engaged him on the matter so that he could explain how he knew his son.

“I will now have to seek ways I will ensure that his three sons go to school and also get the basic needs,” Mr Leliman said.

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Rebecca Mwenda, widow of Josphat Mwenda who was killed by rogue police officers in 2016 alongside lawyer Willie Kimani. Mr Mwenda was a witness in an IPOA investigation into police officer Fredrick Leliman over extrajudicial killing. He was murdered alongside Mr Kimani and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri. Ms Mwenda broke down while addressing Journalists outside the Milimani Law Courts on Friday, February 3, 2023 after the sentencing of Mr Leliman (death), Peter Ngugi (20 years), Sylvia Wanjiku (24 years) and Stephen Cheburet (30 years). PHOTO DENNIS ONSONGO

On Friday, the court sentenced the former police officer who was also linked to the murder of lawyer Kimani’s clients Josephat Mwenda and driver Joseph Muiruri. The three were killed in 2016.

Passing sentence, Justice Jessie Lessit said that the murder of the three was carefully planned and executed.

“The lawyer and the driver were collateral damage, not to mean that Mwenda deserved the brutal murder,” she said.

Leliman’s former colleagues and co-accused Stephen Cheburet Morogo Lelei and Sylvia Wanjiru Wanjohi who were also convicted in the case, have been sentenced to 30 and 24 years, respectively.

At the same time, their informant, Peter Ngugi, who is believed to have facilitated the execution of the brutal murder, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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