The murder of a Kenyan woman, whose body was found in a septic tank near a British army base nearly a decade ago, should be thoroughly investigated by the government, Labor MPs said this morning.
The body of 21-year-old Agnes Wanjiru was found two months after her disappearance in March 2012 at the Lions Court Hotel in the city of Nanyuki, Kenya. The city is close to Camp Batuk (British Army Training Unit Kenya).
An initial investigation was unsuccessful, but a new investigation was opened after an investigation delayed until 2019 found that Ms. Wanjiru was unlawfully killed Sunday times reported last month.
This weekend the newspaper reported that a soldier accused of murder was named by his comrades.
The soldier is said to have confessed to the killing while another soldier reported him to high-ranking officers at the time – but nothing was done.
An autopsy revealed that Ms. Wanjiru died from stab wounds to her chest and abdomen.
There was also evidence that she had been beaten, although the condition of her body made it unclear whether she was sexually abused.
Witnesses reportedly said that Ms. Wanjiru, a sex worker, was the last to leave the hotel bar with a British soldier.
Labor Shadow Secretary of Defense John Healey said: âThe details of this young Kenyan woman’s death are dire, but Defense Ministers have still not taken action when reports of serious failures by the British military on the case were uncovered.
âThere was no Defense Department-led investigation into the soldiers involved, and no investigation into why the Defense Department did not respond when Kenyan detectives asked for help.
âNine years later, Agnes and her family now face justice.
âThe defense minister has to take this more seriously. He should promise the Kenyan detectives the fullest possible cooperation and initiate an investigation into a possible cover-up by commanding officers, the military police or the Ministry of Defense.
âWhen our armed forces serve overseas they stand for British values, and if these allegations are proven, they would betray those values ââprofoundly.
âThis is another case that raises serious questions about the way crimes are reported, investigated and prosecuted in the military.
“The failure of military justice undermines our relationships with allies and the bonds between those who serve with devotion in our armed forces.”
Labor MP Jess Phillips tweeted about the Sunday Times story: âThis is brilliant coverage and a tragic story that I will urge the Secretary of Defense for answers. Her name was Agnes Wanjiru and we owe her something. “
Ms. Phillips added, “I think I actually stayed at this hotel while meeting sexually exploited women and men in Kenya.”
Soldiers are missing
An investigation into Ms. Wanjiru’s death stalled when a request from Kenyan police to the UK’s Royal Military Police (RMP) to question nine soldiers in June 2012 apparently disappeared.
Detectives reportedly asked the RMP to ask 13 questions, including whether any of them had sex with Ms. Wanjiru the night they disappeared.
A photo of the victim was attached to the application, as was an application for DNA samples to be taken from the nine men.
The Sunday Times reports that the man who allegedly admitted killing was not among the nine men.
A Defense Department spokesman said: âIn 2012, the Special Investigation Branch conducted an initial investigation in Kenya, including providing information about British personnel to the Kenyan police. At this point in time, no further inquiries were received.
âAfter completing a Kenyan investigation in 2019, we are aware that the Kenyan authorities are investigating this incident.
âThis investigation is the responsibility of the Kenyan Police and we are currently in discussions with the Kenyan authorities to determine what assistance is needed.
“As this is the subject of an ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to make any further comments.”