Saturday, October 29, 2016

Government appeal in Kenya Navy acquittals

The Director of Public Prosecutions of Kenya has appealed a High Court decision that had acquitted 25 members of the Navy in a mass prosecution for desertion. Details can be found here. Excerpt:
The appeal was filed exactly a year and two months after the High Court in Mombasa freed the 25 former naval soldiers after acquitting them on charges that they deserted Kenya’s military to work for US security firms in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait. They had been sentenced to life imprisonment by three court martials at the Mtongwe navy base. 
However, on August 21 last year, Justice Martin Muya freed them after finding that the military courts convicted them without evidence. The judge ruled that Kenya was not at war when the soldiers left the military. 
Although the soldiers were found guilty of leaving the armed forces without official permission, they were freed on the account of time served since their arrest in early 2014.  
But now the State is arguing the judge freed the soldiers on a wrong premise as “there was no proper judgment issued in the case.”
One wonders whether the DPP's appeal is timely. 

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