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Eastleigh police officer Ahmed Rashid asks court to drop murder charges

Wednesday November 30, 2022


Still Photo from Hunting down gangsters with Kenya’s Ahmed Rashid/ BBC Africa Eye documentary

Nairobi (HOL) - Embattled Eastleigh police officer Ahmed Rashid filed a case at the Milimani courthouse on Wednesday alleging that Kenya's Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) double homicide charges against him was a "well-choreographed plan to fix him without any lawful basis."

Rashid's lawyer Danstan Omar called on the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) to dismiss the double homicide charges against him.

The filing includes allegations against the IPOA, ODPP, and Inspector General Japhet Koome, as well as letters of support from the Eastleigh Business community.

Rashid, known in Eastleigh as a hard-nosed "top cop," is charged with murdering Jamal Mohamed and Mohamed Dahir Kheri, two alleged gang members, at Amal Plaza in Eastleigh on March 31, 2017, in front of hundreds of horrified shoppers.

The video was captured on cell phone cameras by civilians.

Human rights organizations accused Rashid and his team of officers - known as the Pangani Six - of extrajudicial killings.

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) concluded an investigation into the deaths and found enough evidence to charge Rashid with two counts of murder. 

The charges were filed last week.

Court documents filed on Wednesday reveal Ahmed Rashid's account of the murder.

According to the officer, Rashid was in the area around 1st Avenue in Eastleigh when he received a radio call about an ongoing robbery at the Amal Plaza. He raced to the scene with uniformed and plainclothes officers and was confronted by the armed suspects.

"That the petitioner and his colleagues had been trailing the robbers who on the same date of the incident had robbed several known persons," reads court documents.

Seven armed robbers then shot at Rashid and the other officers - with at least one suspect using a homemade gun who was shot dead. Officers killed the other suspect after he attempted to disarm the police.

"One of the robbers, upon realizing that he was cornered, tried to snatch a firearm from a police officer. In the ensuing scuffle, he was also shot and neutralized." 

Rashid contends that the same group of robbers was responsible for several similar armed attacks in the Eastleigh area.

"The decision by the DPP to charge me for the offence of Murders is irrational, an abuse of discretion, a failure to act fairly in the exercise of discretion actuated by malice or other relevant considerations against public interests, does not cohere with the interests of due administration of justice," lawyer Danstan Omari argued.

Supporters of contentious officer - including dozens of Eastleigh residents - protested outside the Milimani Court on Wednesday, saying their community needs vigilante police officers like Ahmed Rashid to safeguard them from brutal criminals.

Business leaders and traders also submitted signed testimonies in Rashid's defence, arguing that the shooting event caught on video helped lower crime in the broader Eastleigh neighbourhood.



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