Kenyan police on trial over killing of British aristocrat’s son seven years after he was beaten death
- Alexander Monson, 28, was found dead in his cell after being arrested in 2012
- Lord Monson’s son was alleged to have been smoking cannabis on a night out
- Four policeman have gone on trial today for his killing in Mombasa, Kenya
- Lord Monson’s younger son Rupert Green, 21, hung himself in January 2017
Four Kenyan policemen went on trial in Mombasa on Tuesday accused of killing the son of a British aristocrat in police custody in 2012.
Alexander Monson, 28, the son of British peer Lord Nicholas Monson, died from blunt force trauma to the head after he was stopped in a car outside a nightclub in the Kenyan beach resort of Diani in May 2012.
Mr Monson’s family maintained he was beaten to death while the police tried to claim he had died of a drug overdose.
The trial is seen as a sign that Kenya’s security services are being held accountable for the use of excessive force and extrajudicial killings after the creation of a police oversight authority in 2011 encouraged prosecutions.
Kenyan police officers accused of the killing Alexander Monson in his prison cell in 2012 at court today in Mombasa, Kenya
Alexander Monson was 28 when he died from blunt force trauma to the head following his arrest for cannabis in 2012
Naftali Chege, Charles Wangombe Munyiri, Baraka Bulima and John Pamba are accused of killing the son of the 12th Baron Monson, and heir to a family estate in Lincolnshire, in eastern England.
The police officers deny the charges.
Two reports by government pathologists concluded that Alexander Monson had died after suffering a traumatic blow to the head.
An inquest in 2018 heard he had suffered internal bleeding on his brain and severe bruising suggested he had been kicked in the groin.
It found there had been attempts to cover up the incident, and threats against witnesses.
The police have said Monson died of an overdose, but his mother Hilary Monson told the court that her son had not been a drug addict at the time of his death.
‘I know my son, like many youths, used drugs. He had a problem at one point, but he had gone through a great deal of suffering to sort himself out,’ she said.
Hussein Khalid, director of the local rights group Haki Africa, said he was concerned that it had taken so long to bring the case to trial.
Hilary Monson reacts inside the high court in Mombasa during the first day of the trial of Kenyan police officers accused of killing her son Alexander
Monson and his former wife Hilary pictured on the beach in Diani, close to Mombasa, Kenya in 2012
Hilary Monson becomes tearful in court today, Alexander moved to Kenya to live with his mother in 2008
‘All the same, it´s a good example for the country that finally people who were one way or another involved in the death of an innocent person while in police custody are now standing trial.’ Khalid said.
Lord Monson’s younger son Rupert Green – Alexander’s half-brother – died after hanging himself aged 21 in January 2017.
His father said he was failed by the NHS after developing an addiction to skunk cannabis.