Kiwi Trent Keegan's accused killer speaks

TRENT KEEGAN: Was found beaten to death in Nairobi in 2008.
TRENT KEEGAN: Was found beaten to death in Nairobi in 2008.

The brother-in-law of a New Plymouth man slain in Kenya has posed as a human rights worker to gain access to the man accused of the crime.

Thirty-three year old photojournalist Trent Keegan was found beaten to death in a drainage ditch in Nairobi on May 28, 2008.

The story of his murder and the campaign to find his killer will be broadcast in a television documentary, Who Killed Trent Keegan, to be broadcast on TV One.

Scott McKinnon, Mr Keegan's brother-in-law, and the award-winning documentary-maker Rob Harley interviewed accused killer Hesbon Amadade, but only after disguising themselves in a daring bid to gain entry to his Nairobi jail cell.

Mr McKinnon travelled to Kenya last year to fight for his brother-in-law's right to justice.

Mr Harley documented the bid and Mr McKinnon's frustration at a lack of action by the Kenyan authorities.

Amadade's trial started last year but resumed again last month after a break.

He is defending himself.

He was already in prison charged with the murder of a Kenya Airways pilot in 2010.

"We just kept plugging away," Mr Harley said of the campaign to find the New Zealand man's killer.

"When we questioned the Kenyan police it sounded like Amadade had made a confession that he had also killed Trent."

The pair saw a statement that Amadade had made to police but they didn't think it was real.

"It looked too good to be true." They decided to visit him in jail posing as human rights workers and using hidden cameras.

They managed to persuade one of the 3500 inmates to find Amadade for them.

"At first he said he had nothing to do with Trent's death but then later on it all got a bit confused.

"It sounded like he was saying, yeah I might have done it but the only reason I would have confessed is if the cops beat it out of me," Mr Harley said.

He said Amadade looked "like a hard man."

The pair continued to put pressure on Kenyan police who eventually charged Amadade after a visit from the New Zealand Deputy High Commissioner in Pretoria.

Mr Keegan's sister, Nikki Keegan of Oakura, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was keeping the family up to date.

"The honorary consul is attending the court on our behalf," Ms Keegan said.

"It is a great help to us of course."

She had no indication how long the trial would last but said the family had no intentions of heading to Kenya.

"I have no wish to see or meet this guy."

Taranaki Daily News