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Torture claims delay Sh72m heist ruling

Boniface Mutua, Duncan Luvuga and Chris Machogu
Administration police officers Boniface Mutua, Duncan Luvuga and Chris Machogu in court September 9, 2019. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU 

Three administration police officers (APs) suspected of involvement in last week's Sh72 million bank heist in Nairobi will have to undergo a medical examination after one of their lawyers told the court that they had been tortured while in police custody.

Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku directed Monday that the three officers — Chris Machogu, Duncan Luvuga and Boniface Mutua — be taken to the Kenyatta National Referral Hospital for tests alongside civilians Vincent Owuor, Alex Mutuku and Francis Muriuki.

The magistrate also delayed making a ruling on whether the suspects should be detained, as requested by the investigating officers, pending the results of the medical examination.

“The suspects be taken to KNH as requested by the defence counsel before I make a ruling on this matter tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2.30p.m,” the magistrate said.

The investigating officers had asked the court to have the suspects detained for a week.

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Defence lawyer Cliff Ombeta claimed that some of them were tortured during interrogation.

Mr Ombeta told court that Mr Owuor was forced to admit that he was a police officer yet he is not. He also alleged that the suspect had his finger pierced and then dipped in paper before being compelled to admit that he was a police officer.

The court also heard that Mr Luvuga sustained injuries in his head after he was immersed in water and beaten.

The defence who opposed further detention of the six, arguing the police should have gathered enough evidence before arresting them.

But the investigation officer said that the suspects needed to be detained at Langata Police Station so that their houses can be searched. Six G4S staff, who were in the company of the said police officers, were arraigned in court last Friday and were detained for seven days on the orders of the same magistrate.

“Court should take judicial notice that all suspects should be treated fairly,” said the prosecution.

The money in the heist was destined for automated teller machines within Nairobi.

The G4S staff assigned to restock the ATMs initially said they were in the company of three police men who turned out to be robbers.

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