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Echesa, Matiang’i spared from paying fine over Pakistani dancers

Tuesday January 8 2019

Evans Ondiek

Lawyer Evans Ondieki representing the eight Pakistani women who were deported over the weekend. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

RICHARD MUNGUTI
By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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A magistrate has spared two Cabinet secretaries the agony of paying $90,000 (Sh9.1 million) over the deportation of eight belly dancers to Pakistan in defiance of a court order.

Milimani Law Courts senior principal magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot ruled that he would not order Mr Rashid Echesa Mohammed (Sports, Culture and Gender) and Dr Fred Matiang’i (Internal security) to personally compensate the eight deportees.

However, Mr Cheruiyot said the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), in whose custody the eight suspected victims of human trafficking were, “blatantly breached a court order he produces them (girls) in court today (Tuesday).”

He directed two police detectives Samuel Ngunjiri and Julius Kiprotich, who were investigating the offences of human trafficking, to appear before him on Friday to explain why they handed over the girls to another State department for deportation contrary to his orders.

“The DCI flouted orders of this court and he must be held accountable,” Mr Cheruiyot ruled.

Tuesday, prosecutor James Machirah applied to close the two files under inquiry for the women and that of the proprietor of Balle Balle Club, Mr Safendra Kumar Sonwani, which had secured the entry of the belly dancers, since they had been deported to Pakistan and India respectively.

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But lawyers Evans Ondieki and Dr John Khaminwa read mischief and urged the magistrate to order Mr Echesa and Dr Matiang’i to compensate the women for violating their international rights.

“This is impunity at its best” Mr Ondieki said. Dr Khaminwa urged the magistrate to order the two ministers to personally compensate the eight women $90,000 for breach of their rights.

The case will be mentioned on January 11.