Kenyan family to sue British army over the death of their kin

Lawyers of the family of the deceased say the household is demanding for answers over the death of their loved one.

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Agnes Wanjiru

Lawyers of the family of a young Kenyan mother, who was allegedly murdered by a British soldier almost a decade ago, said Wednesday that the unit is planning to sue the British army to demand for answers over her death.

The body of Agnes Wanjiru, 21, was found in 2012 after she reportedly went out partying with British soldiers at a hotel in Kenya’s central town of Nanyuki, where the UK army is said to have a permanent garrison. Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper last month published an article saying that a British soldier had confessed to killing Wanjiru and also shown comrades where he dumped her body in a septic tank behind the said hotel.

The revelations have spurred fresh calls for an investigation towards securing justice for Wanjiru, with Kenyan police last week reportedly announcing that they were reopening the case.

“We are instructed by the family of Agnes to challenge the Ministry of Defence’s failure to investigate her alleged murder in 2012,” Tessa Gregory, a partner at law firm Leigh Day which is handling the case, said in a statement to the media. 

“Our client desperately wants justice for Agnes but also wants answers as to what the British Army knew and why it is that over the last nine years the Ministry of Defence appear to have done nothing to address the known allegations Agnes was brutally murdered at the hands of a British soldier.”

Wanjiru was reportedly last seen on an evening in March 2012, in the company of a British soldier from the military base; her body was found about two months later.

UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott, last month expressed “outrage and concern” over Wanjiru’s death and promised high-level support to a Kenyan investigation into her murder.

Since Kenya gained independence in 1963, thousands of British infantrymen have been said to pass through a training camp located on the outskirts of Kenya’s Nanyuki County, known as BATUK, for exercises in harsh terrain. It is reported that there have been other controversies and allegations of offences in the past related to the soldiers.

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