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June 20, 2018

25 ex-soldiers want appeal against their acquittal dismissed

Some of the ex-soldiers follow proceedings at the High Court on August 25,2015 when the judge was reading his judgment, The High Court in Mombasa discharged the 25 who were sentenced to life for desertion of duty. Photo file
Some of the ex-soldiers follow proceedings at the High Court on August 25,2015 when the judge was reading his judgment, The High Court in Mombasa discharged the 25 who were sentenced to life for desertion of duty. Photo file

Twenty-five ex-soldiers, who were charged with desertion but later acquitted, want the appellate court to dismiss an appeal against them as it lacks jurisdiction.

The former military men said the appellant,the office of the director of prosecution did not have rights to appeal their acquittal.

They they say the Kenya Defence Forces Act (2012) only highlights the appeal of a conviction and sentence, but remains silent in a case where the suspect is acquitted.

Defense counsel Tom Ojienda said the KDF law denies the Director of Public Prosecutions powers to appeal a decision by judge Martin Muya, who acquitted them in 2015.

Ojienda further told the three-judge bench that the amendments on the KDF law in 2016 came after the judgment.

He further downplayed DPP's claims that the former soldiers were a security threat.

He noted that the DPP had not adduced any evidence that the soldiers were indiscipline or were involved in any subversion acts.

However the DPP said the the former soldiers were initially convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by the court martial.

Judge Alnashir Visram,Wanjiru Karanja and Martha Koome will give their ruling on September 27.

 

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