Nine British soldiers face questioning over murder of Kenyan woman
Nine British soldiers could be taken in for questioning over the unsolved murder of a Kenyan woman who was stabbed to death and found in a septic tank in 2012.
The body of Agnes Wanjiru was discovered close to a UK Army base in Nanyuki, at the Lions Court Inn Hotel two months after she vanished in March 2012.
The family of Wanjiru reported her missing after she spent the night at the hotel at the same time as dozens of British soldiers visited for the weekend, during this time is is reported that 21-year-old Wanjiru was seen leaving the bar arm-in-arm with a British soldier and going to his room.
A post-mortem examination confirmed that she had died as a result of stab wounds to her abdomen and chest, also showing evidence that she had been physically beaten beforehand. Due to the condition of her body it was unclear if she had been sexually assaulted.
The initial inquiry into Wanjiru's death was unsuccessful, a request was made to the British Royal Military Police by the Kenyan police, that nine soldiers be questioned, the request from the Kenyan police apparently went missing in June 2012.
Kenyan police said that they had given the RMP (Royal Military Police) 13 questions to put to the soldiers, including whether any of them had sexual intercourse with Wanjiru on the night of her disappearance along with a request for them to provide DNA samples.
The Ministry of Defence said that, while RMT Special Investigation Branch officers had "carried out initial inquiries in Kenya, including providing information about British personnel to the Kenyan police", it had received "no further requests for assistance" in summer 2012.
Kenyan authorities have now opened a new investigation, after an inquest that was delayed until 2019 found Wanjiru was unlawfully killed.
A spokesperson for the MoD said: "The jurisdiction for this investigation rests with the Kenyan police, and we are currently in discussions with the Kenyan authorities to determine what support is needed.
“Due to this being subject to an ongoing investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
According to The Sunday Times, which has seen confidential documents relating to the Kenyan police probe in 2012, detectives from Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations visited Wanjiru’s family in February this year.
The paper reported that the same nine soldiers were the focus of their enquiries, and quoted Wanjiru’s 48-year-old sister Rose Wanyua Wanjiku as saying detectives had stated an intention to “carry out the interviews, even if it meant flying to the UK”.
The investigation documents reportedly show that at least four witnesses saw Wanjiru, who is said to have been a sex worker, leave the hotel bar for the soldier’s room, where one claimed to have heard a “fierce row” break out.
A former infantryman at the hotel on the night Wanjiru went missing recalled a night of “non-stop" sex with soldiers “ferrying” local sex workers “back and forth to the rooms”, according to the paper.
Wanjiru's body was reportedly found two months after her disappearance by the hotel's maintenance manager as he investigated a bad odour, her body was submerged in the sewage of a septic tank on the hotel grounds, she was completely naked apart from a bra and a necklace.
The questions around the possibility of British Military involvement in Wanjiru's murder has shocked the entire town, a busy tourism gateway to Mount Kenya with a population of approximately 50,000.
Wanjiru's sister, Rose Wanyua, has recently spoken publicly for the first time about the murder, she has stated that she believes that British soldiers were responsible for her sisters death.
“The Kenyan police should have forced the British Army to produce the culprits to face the law,” Rose Wanyua said.
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