A Kenyan court rules that the 2022 shooting death of a Pakistani journalist by police in Nairobi was unlawful


ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Kenyan court ruled Monday that the 2022 elections shooting dead of a Pakistani journalist by police in Nairobi was unlawful and unconstitutional, a lawyer and his family said.

In her ruling in Nairobi, Judge Stella Mutuku also criticised Kenya’s Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions for their inaction in investigating the death of Arshad Sharif after police opened fire on his car at a roadblock.

Sharif’s family has accused an elite Kenyan police unit of deliberately killing Sharif. The 50-year-old journalist had fled Pakistan earlier that year to avoid arrest at home on charges of smearing Pakistan’s national institutions.

A panel of Pakistani investigators concluded in December 2022 that Sharif’s killing was a “planned assassination.” Their report suggested that the bullet that fatally wounded Sharif was fired from inside the car or at close range.

Kenyan authorities are still investigating the killing and no police officer involved in the shooting has been arrested or charged.

In Monday’s ruling, the court asked Kenyan authorities to complete their investigation into the agents. The court also ordered the government to compensate Sharif’s family 10 million Kenyan shillings ($78,000).

Dudley Ochiel, lawyer for Sharif’s widow, Javeria Siddique, said the ruling was a “great victory for the man’s family and friends in Kenya, Pakistan and around the world.”

Ochiel expects the Public Prosecution Service to file charges against two police officers suspected of fatally shooting Sharif at the roadblock.

The murder shocked Pakistan and days later thousands showed up for Sharif’s funeral.

Pakistan has stated that no state institution was involved in his death.

Siddique, who filed a complaint against the Kenyan police along with the Kenyan journalists’ unions, said that while she knew her husband would not return, “at least now everyone knows he was deliberately killed”.

Police initially blamed the shooting on a “mistaken identity” during a search for a similar car involved in a child abduction case.


Musambi reported from Nairobi, Kenya.

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