Kenya drafts model agreement to allow foreign prisoner transfers

The model agreement is expected to detail the conditions for transfer of prisoners.

Saturday March 12 2016

Inmates at Langata Women's Prison celebrate by dancing after several of them were pardoned by President Uhuru Kenyatta on December 12, 2015.PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Inmates at Langata Women's Prison celebrate by dancing after several of them were pardoned by President Uhuru Kenyatta on December 12, 2015. The State Law Office is drafting a model agreement that will see Kenyans serving in foreign jails repatriated back.PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By STELLA CHERONO
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The State Law Office is drafting a model agreement that will see Kenyans serving in foreign jails repatriated back.

Attorney-General Githu Muigai is guiding the drafting of the document that will form the basis for the implementation of the Transfer of Prisoners Act, 2015 which came into effect on October 12, 2015.

“If bilateral agreements and treaties with the sentencing countries are put in place, then it will be made possible for Kenyans to be brought back to the country and charged here,” a statement from the Public Communications Department indicated.

Legal structures are also being put in place to enable the Kenyan inmates in different countries be repatriated to complete their jail sentences in Kenya.

The model agreement is also expected to detail the conditions for transfer of prisoners as well as the eligibility of the transfers to Kenya and from Kenya.

Prof Muigai estimated that close to 3,000 Kenyans are serving jail sentences in various countries with Kenyan prisons also holding a similar numbers of foreign nationals.

“The model agreement will form the basis for the exchange of prisoners between Kenya and other signatory states to the agreement,” he said.

The Transfer of Prisoners Act 2015 is to help in the transfer of persons serving sentences for criminal offences committed in Kenya or in countries outside Kenya while ensuring that prisoners are accorded basic dignities in line with human rights laws and international conventions.

“It will also allow the inmates to serve their sentences within the communities that they have ties,” the AG said.

The model agreement will, according to the Act, only apply where an agreement exists between Kenya and another country.

The conditions for transfer however, can only be made through an application by the two states through the Attorney-General or by an application from the prisoner to the Attorney General for consideration but only if that person is a national of Kenya.

PRESIDENTIAL PARDON
Prof Muigai made the statements during a visit to the Lang’ata Women’s Prison last Friday where he received petitions from women inmates seeking consideration for presidential pardon.

During his visit to the facility, he met several inmates of Pakistani origin who made a plea for the transfer to their home country.

The visit to the women’s facility comes at a time when the Power of Mercy Advisory Committee (PMAC)chaired by the Attorney-General, is making recommendations to the Head of State for female inmates to be considered for pardon.

Several other Kenyans are serving jail terms in foreign countries for various crimes including assault, murders, drug related charges and theft.

One of them, a 28-year-old, was arrested in South Korea on Wednesday morning in connection to the murder of his friend in Gwangju.

He is also alleged to have proceeded to rob another male customer of his winter jacket and smartphone at a cyber café before fleeing.

Another Kenyan, Anastasia Wanjiku, 59, is in jail in Maryland after being accused of neglecting an elderly man he was looking after.

And in Indiana State United States, a man who allegedly stabbed his wife and killed their daughter is serving a life sentence.

Such are some of the inmates likely to be repatriated home so that they can complete their sentences.

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