AWAITING US COMMUNICATION

Akasha family to wait longer for release of property

Court rules it will not interfere with property until it gets further directions from US

In Summary
  • The items were recovered from their house in Nyali, during the raid on November 9, 2014.
  • DPPs office says the application is ‘hopeless’ and they shall not ‘waste’ judicial time replying to it

The family of the extradited Akasha brothers will have to wait longer to receive property seized during a raid five years ago.

The court ruled that it will not touch property related to Bakhtash Akasha since he is facing charges in the US.

“This court awaits communication from the US court,” magistrate Edna Nyaloti ruled.

The property includes at least four vehicles,  a copy of a sale agreement of a motor vehicle, several gold chains, ledger books, log books, 25 rounds of ammunition, two powdery substances, cheque books and vaccination certificates.

Other items are ID cards, birth certificates, phones, passports, three ceska magazines, a greenish plant material in a clear paper bag, 82 bags of alleged tea bags in khaki papers, one shot gun and KRA pins.

Najma  Juma Hassan, wife of Bakhtash, moved to court under a certificate of urgency seeking to compel the government to release the property arguing it belongs to her and her mother-in-law, Fatma Akasha. 

 

Earlier, the state had expressed unwillingness to file written submissions in the case in which Najma has sued the government seeking release of the property.

On Friday, the Director of Public Prosecutions informed the court that the application was "hopeless" and the office shall not waste judicial time replying to it.

The case was up for mention before magistrate Nyaloti to confirm whether the DPP had filed and served Najma with a reply.

Najma’s lawyer Kiogora Mugambi argued that Baktash had already been sentenced in the US, and nowhere in the judgment did the US court make reference to the property the family is pursuing.

He said since the filing had not been done, the court should allow their application.

“I spoke to Masa [Hamisi Masa, head of anti-narcotics], who in turn said he will speak to the DPP himself. The state does not wish to reply to this application since items cited belong to Bakhtash Akasha, who is in America facing charges,” he said.

The DPP further said that the office is waiting for communication from the United States court.

 

“Our application is very clear. The items were picked from Baktash’s homestead but they don't belong to him. Let the DPP put whatever he is saying in a reply then we have a full hearing. We shall show how the property mentioned belongs to the applicant and her mother-in-law,” Kiogora noted.

The court directed that the matter be mentioned on December 9 for further directions and to fix a hearing date.

 

 

The investigations team had indicated that the property would be used as evidence in the extradition case in the United States of America.

 

An earlier case raising objections over the release of the forfeited items, and also opposing their release on lenient bond terms, before they were extradited, was withdrawn after parties agreed that the matter was overtaken by events.

The case involving the Akasha brothers,  Vijaygiri Anandguri Goswani and Gulam Hussein, stood withdrawn and the file closed on September 17th before Justice Njoki Mwangi.

In the recent attempt through an application dated September 19th this year,  Najma said the items were recovered from their house in Nyali, during the raid on November 9th 2014.

 

“The items recorded in an inventory dated November 9th 2014 should be returned to the applicant. And the court should make any other orders deem fit and just in the circumstances,” said Kiogora.

Najma argues that the items were never used as exhibits in the extradition proceedings and the same are now held illegality by the state.

After the raid, some of the items were returned to the family, which mostly included the ID cards and birth certificates.

“The respondent has persistently maintained that save for the items already released, all the other items are to be used as exhibits in the extradition proceedings and that the same are liable for forfeiture,” added Kiogora.

He argued that the extradition proceedings are complete and the properties seized were never used as exhibits in the extradition proceedings.