Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Alleged torturer gets pension

The decision of the High Court of Kenya in the case of an officer prosecuted for torturing a prisoner is not yet available, but some of the factual details and legal background can be found in this news report. Excerpt:

Justice Jemimah Keli from Bungoma acknowledged that the rights of the officer, who has participated in multiple peacekeeping missions in Sudan and Somalia, were disregarded to expedite the process of holding the officers involved in the spy's torture accountable, as stated in a letter from Brigadier Mohamed Nur Hassan. The judge also observed that the quick resolution of Mulekano's case deprived him of the opportunity to challenge the evidence against him or present his own defence. Senior Private Edgar Mwore and Senior Private Patrick Murithi were the individuals involved, according to the Judge.

The Officer Commanding (OC) did not follow instructions and proceeded to document the case as 'heard', as per the Judge's statement. This incident took place on the morning of July 18, 2019. It was revealed in court that the OC heard the case and then passed it on to Colonel Rotich, a higher-ranking official, for further instructions. The Judge noted that it was peculiar that the record presented to Colonel Rotich in the afternoon, when Mulekano was remanded for a decision rather than a trial, had been modified to indicate that Mulekano had stated he did not wish to call witnesses.

The Judge concluded that this was an attempt by Colonel Rotich to rectify the mistake of not providing witnesses during the hearing before the OC. As a result of this breach, the court ruled that Mulekano should receive compensation of Sh 5 million for his wrongful dismissal and violation of his right to a fair trial. Additionally, the court ordered that the discharged soldier, who still had six years remaining until retirement, should receive his terminal benefits, which the Force had initially decided to deny him. The Judge emphasized that Mulekano had served for 29 years, only to face an unfair hearing in his old age.

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