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MP’s son appeals against death sentence

Thursday October 06 2016
kwapic

Mafanikio Mwanyoha (right) before a court on April 18, 2016 where he was sentenced to death for violent robbery. Mwanyoha said his conviction did not meet the constitutional threshold. PHOTO | FAROUK MWABEGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BRIAN OCHARO

A son of Matuga Member of Parliament Hassan Mwanyoha who is on death row for robbery with violence has asked the High Court in Mombasa to set aside the verdict.

Mafanikio Mwanyoha alias Fani Hussein said his conviction did not meet the constitutional threshold.

He argued that the Kwale magistrate who sentenced him made a legal and factual mistake by convicting him on a charge that was not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

Mwanyoha was sentenced to death in April after he was found guilty of robbing Mr Peter Schadwsky of a bag, an LG mobile phone, a pair of spectacles, a company ID and five credit cards all valued at Sh14,625.

“The magistrate erred in law by also placing the burden of proof on me,” Mwanyoha, who was representing himself, told the court Thursday.

Asked by Justice Dorah Chepkwony whether he had a lawyer, he responded in Kiswahili: “Sijamuona (I have not seen him).”

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Mwanyoha dismissed the conviction as based purely on circumstantial evidence and that the trial court “failed to consider his evidence at all”.

He said: “The magistrate meted out a sentence which was excessive in this circumstances. The judgement was against the weight of the evidence on record.”

In his supporting affidavit, Mwanyoha claimed that he was not furnished in advance with the evidence the prosecution had relied on.

He added that he was denied reasonable access to the evidence.

He claimed his constitutional right to have legal representation appointed by the State was infringed on despite the fact that “I was accused of a capital offence punishable by death”.

Mwanyoha said: “This was in contravention of my constitutional right. I was unable to conduct my own defence, neither was I informed of my right to have the State appoint an advocate for me.”

While calmly seated in the dock, he asked the court to set aside the sentence while expressing optimism that the appeal had overwhelming chances of success.

The hearing is scheduled for November 1.

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