UK ready to extradite soldiers to face murder charge in Kenya »Capital News
NANYUKI, Kenya November 3 – The British government says it is ready to extradite its soldiers accused of the murder of a Kenyan woman Agnes Wanjiru to be brought to justice in the country.
British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey, who visited Kenya this week, said Britain had nothing to hide about the incident and had cooperated with Kenyan authorities in connection with investigation.
Kenyan police said on Monday they are reopening a case over the 2012 murder of the young mother last seen with a British soldier from the British Army Kenya Training Unit (BATUK).
“As a country, we believe that justice for Wanjiru’s family must be done urgently and in fact we are ready to extradite the suspects to be brought to justice in Kenya,” Heappey told reporters at the army training unit Wednesday night.
And he regretted that “it is true that this incident has tarnished the image of the British soldiers which must be corrected”.
There were allegations that the UK government or its military had not cooperated with the investigation, with reports of a major cover-up in the shocking murder of the young woman whose body was discovered in a septic tank of a club she had party with. soldiers.
The Sunday Times reported last month that a British soldier confessed to killing Wanjiru and showing comrades where he had thrown his body, and the crime was reported but dismissed by military officials.
The revelations galvanized new calls for an investigation and justice for Wanjiru.
“I want to make it clear to everyone that the UK has nothing to hide,” said Heappey, “our agreement with Kenya allows us to bring suspects to justice and we are ready to do so.”
Kenya’s police chief Hilary Mutyambai has announced that he has ordered the murder case to be reopened and urged the UK government to cooperate. “I have asked the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to reopen the case and compile all available evidence and testimony and ensure that the case is concluded in court.”
British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott last month expressed “outrage and concern” over Wanjiru’s death and pledged high-level support for a Kenyan investigation into his murder.
Marriott said the first investigations were carried out in 2012 by a special investigative arm of the UK and details of UK staff were submitted to Kenyan authorities upon request.
After an investigation in 2019, Kenyan authorities resumed investigating the murder.
Since Kenya gained independence in 1963, thousands of British infantrymen have passed through a training camp on the outskirts of Nanyuki known as BATUK for exercises in difficult and difficult terrain.
Although their presence has supported the local economy, there have been controversies and allegations of serious crimes and other misdemeanors in the past.
Heappey said that although the incident has skyrocketed relations between British soldiers and residents of the local Nanyuki community, he pleaded for patience while ensuring full cooperation.
There have been calls for the training camp to be closed, with lawmakers pledging on Tuesday not to renew signed agreements between the Kenyan government and Britain on its prosecution.
“Although the community is angry with the incident, we spoke with businessmen, especially the Chamber of Commerce (and Industry) (Kenya) and they told us that they did not want we were closing this unit because it provides employment for a lot of people, ”he said.
Heappey said: “Kenya is the UK’s security partner of choice in East Africa and we have long worked together to promote both security and justice. The tragic murder of Agnes Wanjiru is no different.
During his visit to Kenya, Heappey said he had “seen the depth and breadth of our relationship with the Kenyan military and look forward to further developing our friendship to achieve a secure East Africa. and stable “.