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Head Of DCI Operation Support Unit, 6 Other Detectives To Be Charged For Torturing A Suspect

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The head of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations’ Operation Support Unit (OSU) Zachary Kariuki, a Commissioner of Police, and his six junior officers are expected to be charged in court with torturing a suspect.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) recommended that Kariuki, a Commissioner of Police (CP) and his juniors be charged with torturing and wounding businessman Abdulahi Abdille Isaack.

According to the statement by the victim, he was injured on various parts of his body including his wrists, private parts, left leg, scalp and eyes.

The officers are further accused of taking the victim’s national ID, Sh1.04million in cash from his vehicle on the day of his arrest and later another Sh900,000.

“In light of the foregoing, we find that there is sufficient evidence to sustain a charge of tourture against the following officers; Commissioner of Police Zachary Kariuki, Chief Inspector Alexander Makoma, Sergeant Francis Singila, and Constables Ronald Chemosit, Gabriel Kuria, Jeremiah Chumba and Julius Lemayan,” a letter signed by Senior Assistant DPP Tabitha Ouya states.

The officers are said to have arrested Abdille on June 24 last year at Total petrol station in Hurlingham Nairobi where he had gone to buy medicine from a pharmacy.

They beat him and forced him into their vehicle and tortured for days and was later admitted in hospital for days.

According to the Police Medical Examination report, the degree of injury was classified as grievous harm.

The ODPP in the letter to the IG observed that the victim was tortured to force him to confess to committing robbery with violence.

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After being discharged from hospital, he was charged in court with what he termed trumped-up charges.

For the DCI’s specialized unit, it appears that the more things change the more they remain the same. In the last five years, the unit has been overhauled and renamed two times.

The initial Flying Squad was in late 2019 disbanded by the then DCI boss George Kinoti following reports that it was not ineffective and people-friendly, and also riddled by corruption.

Kinoti then formed the Special Services Unit (SSU) that was then headed by the current Madera DCI boss Pius Gitari.

The unit undertook various successful security operations across the country but would later be implicated in the abduction and subsequent murder of two Indian IT specialists -Mohamed Zaid Sami Kidwai and Zulfiqar Ahmed Khan -and their driver Nicodemus Mwania on July 25 last year.

On September 15 last the then acting Inspector General Noor Gabow directed the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) to launch investigations into the abduction. The Unit was later disbanded and a leaner OSU formed, headed by Kariuki.

Kariuki and his juniors have now also been implicated in torture claims.

When the matter was first reported by the media last year, the DCI headquarters dismissed the reports, saying the victim was a habitual fraudster and is part of the of Nairobi’s nefarious gold scammers and money laundering syndicate.

Punishment

Under the Prevention of Torture Act, 2017 torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentional inflicted on a person to, among other things, obtain information or confession from them.

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Any person who tortures another person commits an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 25 years.

The OSU, which was formed in October 2022 had also been investigated in relation to the killing of two of the suspects said to have been involved in the Muranga Unaitas Sacco heist. Detectives from that Unit had joined their colleagues in Muranga following the robbery.


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