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Akashas appeal for bond terms review as prosecution objects

Thursday October 13 2016
AKAPIC

From left: Baktash Akasha Abdalla, Gulam Hussein, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla and Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami in a Mombasa court on June 20, 2016 for the mention of their extradition case. They have appealed their bond terms. FILE PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By PHILIP MUYANGA

Sons of slain drug baron Ibrahim Akasha and two foreigners that the United States wants extradited for trial over drug-related offences want their bond terms reassessed.

Baktash Akasha Abdalla, Vijaygiri Anandgiri, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla and Gulam Hussein want the High Court to review the bond terms, which had been made stringent by Justice Martin Muya following an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions and which they say are oppressive.

The terms were increased to Sh30 million with two sureties against each of the four suspects who had been released by a magistrate’s court on a Sh5 million bond.

On Thursday - through lawyers Cliff Ombeta, Kirathe Wandugi, George Wajackoyah and Leila Latif - they told Justice Dorah Chepkwony that a condition requiring them to report to police thrice per week ought to be revised so they can appear in court for a mention of the case.

Mr Wandugi told the court that Ibrahim Abdalla lives in Nairobi, where he has a permanent residence, and hence the order to report to police three times a week is not convenient for him.

“The condition requiring a Sh30 million bond with two sureties has been hard and oppressive,” Mr Wandugi said.

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Mr Wandugi urged the court to find that the cause of justice would be served by reinstating the terms of bail put in place earlier by the magistrate’s court.

The court also heard that the suspects have not absconded court two years after they were granted the bond terms.

“When the chief magistrate gave conditions, they were much more reasonable than they are today,” Mr Ombeta said.

He added that the fresh terms have taken a toll on their clients since they have to report to the police 12 times per month.

Additionally, Prof Wajackoyah said the terms are not suitable for his client - Mr Hussein - because he is sick and is supposed to be in hospital.

NOT LEGAL
Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Alexander Muteti opposed the suspects' application to have their bond terms reviewed.

Mr Muteti said the only recourse the suspects have is to appeal the decision at the Court of Appeal.

The prosecutor further urged the court to find that it has no jurisdiction to hear the application.

“This application is opposed. This court has no jurisdiction to entertain it. The defence has presented an omnibus application,” Mr Muteti said.

The office of the DPP is seeking to deliver the suspects to the Southern District of New York for trial.

One of the offences levelled against the accused, according to an application by the prosecution's office, is conspiracy to import heroin.

Local law enforcement agents are collaborating with their US counterparts.

In an application at the magistrate’s court, the suspects want the extradition proceedings against them quashed, arguing that there is no legal provision backing it.

Justice Chepkwony is expected to deliver her ruling on November 25.

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