Five police officers, accused of murdering Mombasa tout Caleb Espino, will undergo a psychiatric test, a court has ordered.
The officers are Khalif Abdulahi Sigat, James Muli Koti, Joseph Odhiambo Sirawa, Edward Kong Onchonga and Nelson Nkanae.
Judge Jane Kamau, sitting at Milimani High Court on September 9, 2021, set the test at Mathari Mental Hospital, Nairobi.
The five officers will take plea on September 20, 2021, before Judge Grace Nzioka, Kamau said.
How Espino died
Espino died at Changamwe police station on September 17, 2018, and an autopsy showed the death was a homicide.
The postmortem revealed Espino died of multiple injuries on the head, upper cervical spine of the neck and chest. There was a fracture due to blunt force trauma, bleeding within the brain, and injury to the upper spinal cord.
Pathologists saw bleeding into both sides of the lungs and the back. A rib on Espino’s left chest had a fracture. There was also a tear within one of his lungs.
The brutality triggered widespread protest, with locals calling for the arrest and prosecution of culpable police.
Events leading to Espino’s death
MUHURI investigated Espino’s night death at Changamwe police station.
We established that on the day that Espino died, police had earlier arrested him at White Castle Bar, Changamwe, during a swoop on drinking dens.
The officers demanded Sh10,000 bribe to free Espino and three others they had apprehended, witnesses told MUHURI. None bribed, and police locked them up at Changamwe station.
According to our investigation, Espino lost his life after police hit him with wooded clubs, punches, and kicks and put him in a tight chokehold.
Witnesses said police handcuffed Espino from behind during the attack, preventing him from finding his footing when they violently pushed and crushed his skull on a metal box at the cell corridor.
Witnesses further disclosed to MUHURI that Espino, while at the cell, demanded to know why police arrested him but didn’t receive any response. Resultantly, Espino shook the cell’s grill, infuriating an officer who was on the reporting desk, another witness said.
The cop called for reinforcement and pulled Espino to the cell corridor. Brutalities started, ending in a lost life.
During the trial, MUHURI and Independent Medical Legal Unit (IMLU) will watch brief on behalf of Epino’s family. IMLU provided a pathologist during the postmortem.