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Archive for November 3rd, 2010

Man arrested for lying about Bethel killing once tortured himself

Posted by Administrator on November 3, 2010

A bizarre twist in the Bethel torture killing involves the 7-foot-tall law clerk who didn’t notify police about the bloodied, naked man tied up in a shed, though the law clerk himself had been tortured and nearly killed in Africa.

David N. Kenney, 36, a political refugee who moved to the Southwest Alaska city with his wife and two children this year, co-authored a book about his imprisonment, “Asylum Denied: A Refugee’s Struggle for Safety in America.”

Police pored through the book this past weekend after buying a digital version online, said Bethel Police Chief Larry Elarton.

They’ve found “intriguing” similarities between Kenney’s experiences and the torture and death of Benjamin Kaiser, a 19-year-old from Hooper Bay, Elarton said.

Elarton would not describe those similarities.

The district attorney in Bethel has charged Jeffrey Allan Hout, 46, and Henry Ned Williams, 32, with first-degree murder in the killing.

Kenney was charged on Friday, Oct. 29, with felony first-degree hindering prosecution, police said.

Police are still investigating the case, and may bring new charges. At least four people saw the bloodied victim, including the two murder suspects. They may have told several others about the crime, Elarton said.

Asked if Kenney was a murder suspect, Elarton said no one has been ruled out.

First, denial

Kenney, a law clerk for Bethel Superior Court Judge Marvin Hamilton III, initially told police he knew nothing of Kaiser’s torture.

But his story changed after police presented him with evidence that he had seen the body, according to documents filed in court.

Kenney told investigators he saw Kaiser alive on the morning of Oct. 26, a Tuesday, while searching the shed near his residence for jumper cables to start a car, documents show. Kenney also told police his black Chevy Silverado — apparently a different vehicle than the one that wouldn’t start — had been stolen.

The allegedly stolen truck is one possible motive for the kidnapping and vicious beating Kaiser took. Multiple weapons used included a “blunt-impact device” and an electrical cord used as a whip, police said.

Kenney lived beneath Hout and said he bought the truck from him. Police confiscated the vehicle and plan to investigate it after they finish gathering evidence at the shed and Hout’s residence where the body was found, Elarton said.

After getting a tip about the attack from Nick Cooke, another witness, police found Kaiser’s body late Wednesday night, Oct. 27, some 36 hours after Kenney had seen him.

The body had already begun stiffening, one sign Kaiser had been dead for a while. Kenney told at least one co-worker at the courthouse what he’d seen — the fellow law clerk initially kept quiet too — but Kenney never called the hospital or police to report the attack, police say.

Complex PTSD

Kenney, bright, talkative and idealistic, suffered his own torture in a water cell after he was arrested in his homeland in Kenya, according to his book.

A therapist’s evaluation in the book says the experience left him with complex post-traumatic stress disorder. He suffered nightmares and hallucinations, but the emotional damage can be controlled with antidepressant medication.

Kenney writes in the book of trying to avoid situations that force him to relive his brutal experience.

A tea farmer who inherited land in Kenya, Kenney’s trouble began when he led marches and a farming boycott in the early 1990s to demand more money from the government-run tea agency.

Police cracked down on the uprising and arrested and beat farmers. Torn by guilt for leading the demonstrations but escaping penalty himself, Kenney walked into a police station and turned himself in, he writes.

Officers soon removed Kenney from his cell, blindfolded and handcuffed him. They threw him into a van for a long drive into what he believes was a forest.

Outside, he was forced to the ground. He felt a gun barrel against his head and heard the gun cocked. But the men decided not to kill him, believing he’d be a valuable informant.

After another long drive, the men took Kenney to a prison and eventually shoved him naked into a dark cement cell with water.

Kenney writes of going without food for days. He stood to avoid drowning when the water randomly crept to his neck. Only when it fell back to his ankles could he lie down and sleep. He survived by drinking the water he’d peed and defecated in.

After that experience, he spent several months in solitary confinement before his release. In the end, the government raised the price of tea, and Kenney was hailed as a hero, he writes.

Later, after returning to his village, Peace Corps volunteers helped Kenney win a basketball scholarship at a community college in California. Though he was still under Kenyan police surveillance after his release from prison, he escaped and fled to the U.S. in 1995. In America, he earned a law degree, married a fellow attorney, Melissa Ngaruri, and started a family.

Kenney could not be reached for this article. He was required to appear in court today, Nov. 3, for a grand jury hearing about the Bethel slaying.

Hope in Bethel

This spring, the couple and their two young children moved to Bethel from the state of Maryland. Ngaruri accepted a job as a social worker at the Office of Children’s Services, where she works to reunite children removed from their parents.

Kenney, denied entry into the Maryland Bar because of character issues, had hoped for a fresh start in Alaska, said Ngaruri, reached by phone in Bethel this week.

She would not say what those character issues were.

Calls and an email from Alaska Newspapers Inc. to the Maryland Judiciary’s State Board of Law Examiners went unanswered.

Ngaruri said she couldn’t imagine why Kenney didn’t initially tell police about the body. The couple is going through divorce proceedings, and his personality has changed in recent months, she said.

“The Jeff I know, that’s his nickname, would stop a car in the middle of D.C. if he saw somebody fall down and he’d get out and help them up,” she said.

In August and September she won domestic violence protective orders against Kenney after filing a civil lawsuit, forcing him out of the family’s residence. Later, he moved into the place beneath Hout.

According to emails sent to family and others and filed with the court, Ngaruri claimed that Kenney threatened to kill her and punch her through a wall. She said he threw a reclining chair at her and locked her in a bedroom for long periods.

” … he says he wants to do it because ‘I’ve hurt him so badly,’ but he can’t say what I did.”

“If something happens to me, it wasn’t suicide,” she wrote.

She never called police because she didn’t want to ruin Kenney’s law career, she said in court. She also claimed in court that he becomes violent when he doesn’t take his medication.

Kenney said he’s never hurt his wife in their seven years together. He can’t recall ever wanting to hurt her, he said, according to court documents.

“I am not a violent man,” he said.

Ngaruri told a reporter that Kenney did not physically hurt her during his outbursts that led to her lawsuit. She dodged the chair, she said.

Not a fugitive

The Delta Junction Superior Court determined that Kenney had caused fourth-degree fear of assault.

Kenney was arrested Friday, Oct. 29, in Anchorage, before getting on a plane headed out of state, police said. He had left Bethel that day, the same day police issued a warrant for his arrest.

Ngaruri told a reporter Kenney wasn’t fleeing. He was taking a long-planned trip to Seattle. He didn’t know about the warrant when he left Bethel, she said.

Ron Woods, area court administrator for the Fourth Judicial District, also said Kenney had long planned to take time off from work starting Friday.

Following the criminal charge police brought against him, Kenney is still employed with the court but is indefinitely on leave, Woods said.

He said court employees can have civil decisions on their record — such as Kenney’s restraining order — without losing their job.

Such cases involve allegations, not proven crimes, he said.

Ngaruri said she’s concerned that news about the heinous case has given Bethel’s reputation a black eye.

But the community’s full of good people, including strangers who keep approaching her to offer any help they can, she said.

“People reach out and show love and support in a way that you don’t find in most places in the Lower 48,” she said.

Source: http://www.thetundradrums.com/article/1044man_arrested_for_lying_about_bethel_killing


Posted in Diaspora News, Kenya | 25 Comments »

Shock for the corrupt with billions abroad

Posted by Administrator on November 3, 2010

By Luke Anami

British Government has joined renewed bid to clip the wings of official corruption with promise to help trace billions stolen from Kenyan taxpayers and hidden in her soil.

The UK is believed to be home to secret accounts and prime assets which corrupt officials sunk money siphoned from Kenya, most of which were pointed out by the Kroll Report.

British High Commissioner to Kenya Mr Rob Macaire said his Government was aware of properties in UK believed to have been acquired through corrupt means by officials serving in the governments of former President Moi and President Kibaki.

Asking Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, which is under new management after the exit of Justice Aaron Ringera, Mr Macaire said his Government would seize and repatriate funds hidden in his home country.

“We are willing and waiting for the Kenyan authorities to contact us once they are ready. We would like to see assets stashed in the UK taken back to Kenya,” he said.

He also asked KACC to go for the other monies held by the corrupt in offshore accounts as well as properties, which the stolen billions were invested in.

He said the UK Government would support and strengthen institutions charged with the fight against corruption in Kenya. “We would like to see the fight against corruption intensified in all sectors,” Macaire said.

The new promise by the UK Government coincides with a new anti-corruption drive heralded by the enactment of a new Constitution. Since the promulgation of the Constitution, in August, a fresh crusade against corruption has taken root and the promise by the UK could see some action on the billions of shillings stolen over the years.

According to the Kroll Report, which was commissioned by President Kibaki in 2004, more than an estimated Sh150 billion was stolen by powerful personalities before 2003 and hidden in foreign accounts. The investigators also traced assets worth billions of shillings in the UK, USA, Australia and South Africa.

”]Former Ethics and Governance PS John Githongo had accused the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission of lacking interest in fighting corruption high up in Government. [PHOTO: file/STANDARD]The UK is believed to be home to most of the money that was stolen from the Kenyan public by powerful individuals with the Kroll Report estimating that Sh100 billion has been stashed in Britain in cash or in the form of assets.

Most of the money looted between 1990 and 1995 was spirited to British, European and Canadian banks by powerful politicians and crooked businessmen.

Yesterday, Mr Macaire said: “Our Government is ready and willing to assist the fight against corruption, which so far poses the biggest threat to Kenya today.”

Previously, attempts by Kenya to trace the stolen billions have been seen to be weak although on the other hand, the Kenya Government has often accused Western nations of failing to support its efforts.

But the new promise by Macaire comes as PLO Lumumba settles in his seat at the helm of KACC, where he took over from Ringera who was accused by former Ethics and Governance PS John Githongo of lacking the interest to fight corruption high up in government.

Githongo, who resigned and went into exile, at one time revealed recordings he made of senior officials in the Kibaki Government who wanted him to go slow on the fight on corruption. Ringera was viewed as an underachiever in the fight against graft and Kenyans have high expectations Lumumba would score better.

Yesterday, the UK ambassador said: “We are aware of the Government’s renewed efforts to fight corruption as witnessed in recent events in Parliament”.

“We pledge our total support including seizing assets believed to have been acquired illegally and hidden in the UK,” he added.

The envoy’s comments come in the wake of claims by Government officials including Attorney General Amos Wako of lack of support from foreign capitals in seizing assets and money hidden abroad through a complicated mesh of companies, trustees and attorneys.

The Kenya Government has been so far unable to seize any properties citing frustration and other legal hurdles. For instance, during investigation into the Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing scandals, the Government cited frustrations in accessing assets hidden abroad.

First step

A good example is the Kroll investigation into the former Kanu regime, which was commissioned by President Kibaki shortly after he came to power on an anti-corruption platform in 2003.

It was meant to be the first step towards recovering some of the money stolen during Kanu rule. But soon after the investigation was launched, President Kibaki’s Government was caught up in its own scandal, the Sh7 billion twin Anglo Leasing scandals, which involved awarding huge government contracts to bogus companies.

The Kroll Report commissioned by the Kenya Government, was submitted in 2004, but never acted upon. The fight against corruption was further made difficult when Government officials in the previous National Rainbow Coalition Government dismissed the findings of the Kroll Report as rumours.

Macaire’s statement seems to be a departure from the past when foreign governments were accused of making it difficult for Kenya to seize looted assets stashed away in their capitals.

“The British Foreign Office is ready and waiting to get in touch with their Kenyan counterparts as soon as such plans are in place,” promised Macaire who was speaking during the handing over of the Airport Emergency Plan to Transport Minister Amos Kimunya at Transcom Offices.

With the passing of a new Constitution, there are renewed calls to freeze and seize assets in foreign countries held by former and current government officials including those mentioned in the Kroll Report.

“I further call upon Kenyans to fight corruption as it is the biggest threat to democracy and economic well being of Kenyans,” he went on.

His statement comes at a time when the Ministry of Justice has sponsored a Mutual Legal Assistance Bill that will facilitate retrieval of properties from foreign capitals.

Source: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000021610&cid=4&

Posted in Kenya | 2 Comments »

Death and Funeral Announcement-VIRGINIA MUKAMI GACHERU

Posted by Administrator on November 3, 2010

The Late Virginia Mukami Gacheru

The Late Virginia Mukami Gacheru

We  are saddened to announce the passing away of Mrs. Virginia Mukami Gacheru on 10/27/10.

She was the mother of Mr. Arthur and Rose Gacheru of Grand Prairie, TX.

Family and Friends are meeting everyday at 7pm at Gacheru’s residence 3343 Sedona Dr, Grand Prarie, TX 75052 for prayers and support for during this difficult times and for travel arrangements.

There will be a fundraising on Sunday 11/7/10 starting from 4:30pm at the Gacheru’s residence at the above address.

Your prayers and generous support for the Gacheru’s family is greatly appreciated.

For more information please contact:

Arthur Gacheru (682)551-8794

Rose Gacheru (469) 226-6617

Josphat Kabaiku (469) 443-2765

David Njenga (469) 544-4391

Sammy Karugu (817)891-1192

Posted in Announcements | 2 Comments »

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