A Kenyan court ruled on Monday that the police acted unlawfully in the killing of Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif in 2022, following a complaint filed by his widow, her lawyer, and local media.

Sharif, who was a supporter of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, was fatally shot in the head by Kenyan police who opened fire on his vehicle in October 2022. His widow, Javeria Siddique, along with two Kenyan journalist groups, had filed a complaint last year against senior police and legal officials, accusing them of the arbitrary and unlawful killing of Sharif and their failure to investigate the incident.

The High Court in Kajiado, south of Nairobi, dismissed the police's claim that the killing was due to mistaken identity, stating that the officers believed they were targeting a stolen vehicle involved in an abduction. Judge Stella Mutuku declared that Sharif's murder was unconstitutional and that his rights to life and protection were infringed, according to Kenyan media.

Mutuku stated, "I find that the respondents, jointly and severally through their actions violated the rights of the petitioners," as reported by The Nation. Siddique's lawyer, Ochiel Dudley, confirmed the court's ruling to AFP, highlighting its significance as a "great precedent for police accountability."

The ruling determined that Kenya had violated Sharif's rights to life, dignity, and freedom from torture and cruel treatment. The court ordered the Kenyan government to pay 10 million Kenyan shillings ($78,000) in compensation. Additionally, the court found that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority had failed to prosecute the involved officers, and mandated them to conclude their investigations and charge the two police officers.

Sharif had fled Pakistan in August 2022, shortly after interviewing a senior opposition politician who advocated for junior military officers to disobey orders that contradicted the will of the majority.