Several months earlier, their investigative work had been instrumental to a report published on Wikileaks.org, "," that focused international attention on police abuse in Kenya.
The lawyers' deaths underscored the perils facing those who fight corruption, and also the responsibility that sometimes weighs upon Wikileaks, the Web site that proclaims itself a "strong and independent voice for global justice" and allows sensitive corporate, political and legal documents to be published anonymously.
"The really effective and courageous people have an understanding of what might happen," said Julian Assange, one of Wikileaks' cofounders, in a recent interview in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Wikileaks has published more than 1.3 million documents in the three years since its founding, and over that time the organization has faced its own share of threats and lawsuits.
Assange believes a vanguard of politicians and human rights lawyers sympathetic to its goals can shield the Web site to a certain degree. The group has won all its court cases to date, including several high-profile appearances.