Formerly the Officer in Charge of Ruaraka police station in Nairobi, Nahashon Mutua was charged with killing Martin Koome on the night of 19 December 2013.
“There is no doubt that Koome sustained serious injuries, there is no doubt that it happened at the police station,” the judge ruled.
Mutua’s conviction is the fifth case this year in which a police officer was found guilty of murder, and is the first time in Kenya's history that a police officer of his rank has been convicted of murder. International Justice Mission (IJM) represented the victim’s family in the case.
“Today, a momentous judgment has been made,” said IJM lawyer Edward Mbanya.
Koome was arrested and booked at the Ruaraka Police Station following a domestic squabble with his wife in 2013. That same night, Mutua brutally assaulted Koome in prison, causing injuries that led to his death. Witnesses who testified in court said they saw Mutua through a crack in the wall assaulting Koome.
Following the death, Mutua hatched a scheme to cover up the murder. In his report, Mutua implicated cellmate Kelvin Odhiambo and charged him with the murder. Documents revealed that Mutua had used his power to intimidate the other prisoners in the cell that night to falsely report that it was Odhiambo who assaulted Koome.
In May 2014, IJM filed a complaint with Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) over the false charges against Odhiambo. The agency conducted an independent investigation and concluded that Odhiambo had been framed. Odhiambo, who by then had been wrongly standing trial for a murder he did not commit, was set free. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions immediately filed murder charges against Mutua.
said Greg Tarrant, Country Director for IJM Kenya. “Koome is just one of many young men killed in circumstances that show excessive use of force by police officers. We call upon the government to form a judicial commission of inquiry into cases of extrajudicial killings to ensure families of those affected get justice.”
Mutua remains in custody prior to his scheduled sentencing on 20 December 2018.
International Justice Mission is a global organisation that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world. IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems.Find out more