Probe reopened into death linked to British soldier

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021 00:00 | By
Kin of woman allegedly killed by Batuk troops seeks justice
Agnes Wanjiru who is believed to have been murdered by a UK soldier in Nanyuki in 2012. Photo/File

Nine years after the murder of Agnes Wanjiru allegedly by a British soldier in Nanyuki, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has reopened investigations into the matter. 

Wanjiru was killed on March 21, 2012 at Lions Court Inn in Nanyuki, Laikipia County and her body dumped into a septic tank of the hotel.

Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai yesterday said he had directed the DCI to compile all the available evidence and witness accounts and ensure the case is concluded in court.

In a statement posted on his twitter account, Mutyambai said: “I have directed the DCI to re-open the case and compile all the available evidence and witness accounts and ensure the case is concluded before a court of law”.

“I am also urging the UK government to collaborate with us to conclude the case and administer justice,” he added.

An inquest led by Judge Njeri Thuku that ended in 2019 concluded that Wanjiru was killed by one or two British soldiers. She was last seen alive in the company of two soldiers.

Two weeks ago, the UK’s Royal Military Police also launched investigations into the brutal murder suspected to have been committed by one of the soldiers of the British Army Training Unit Kenya (Batuk).

Last week, the British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott assured Kenyans of full cooperation.

“In 2012, the UK’s Special Investigation Branch carried out initial enquiries in Kenya, including providing information about British personnel to Kenyan police. No further requests were received at that time,” she said.

“Following the conclusion of a Kenyan inquest in 2019, we understand that the Kenyan authorities are looking into the murder. We will support Kenyan police investigation,” she added.

The soldier reportedly confessed to have fatally stabbed Wanjiru, who was then living with her sister in Nanyuki’s Majengo slums with her 5-month-old baby.

When her body was retrieved from the hotel’s septic tank, it had some parts missing and a stabbing wound. 

Justice Thuku had ordered two further criminal inquiries. 

No action was taken but nine and a half years later, a probe has been launched into the shocking murder that had could be one of the worst cover-ups ever.

Probe hampered

It was an open secret that the British soldier had murdered 21-year-old Wanjiru that night and many people, including the British soldiers, knew where the body was but, for two months, the body lay in the septic tank, only to be discovered after the troops had left the country.

Reports indicate the suspect confessed and even escorted some of his colleagues to the septic tank where he opened the lid and showed them the woman’s body. At least five British soldiers gave the same name of the killer soldier.

However, forensic investigations were also significantly hampered by the fact that the body had decomposed and that the room she had been in had been repeatedly cleaned.

After the matter was exposed by the Sunday Times, the UK Defence Secretary directed the matter be probed, and full cooperation between the military police and the Kenyan authorities.

Witnesses said that On March 21, 2012 Wanjiru went to Lions Court Inn hotel in Nanyuki and sat at a table with two friends. 

In the hotel were dozens of British soldiers who were drinking beer and dancing with women. At around midnight, she reportedly left arm-in-arm with one of the soldiers and that was the last time she was seen alive.

Wanjiru’s friend waited until around 3am and when she failed to turn up, she decided to go home. A guard at the hotel also said he escorted the woman and the soldier to the room.

Confidential documents seen by The MailOnline show four witnesses told the original Kenyan police investigation in 2012 that Wanjiru left the bar with a British soldier and went to his room.

According to the soldier, the two seemed to be getting on well and he was not concerned about their safety.

The body had been there for two months and at the time of the discovery, the troops had left Kenya. 

Just six days after her death, the regiment returned to the UK before being deployed to Afghanistan.

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