Kenya: Mombasa magistrate withdraws from Sh22 million drugs case
A magistrate in Mombasa has withdrawn from a Sh22 million narcotics case citing Government interference.
Chief Magistrate Julius Nang’ea said he had quit the case in which five people have been charged with drug trafficking because the Executive is interfering in the case.
The magistrate also accused the State of sanctioning unauthorised destruction of the yacht that was allegedly ferrying the drugs and the suspects on August 14 last year.
“I am no longer comfortable hearing this case,” said Nang’ea said who also accused the Government of destroying key exhibit by sinking the vessel.
“The Executive’s action, needless to say, strikes a huge blow against the rule of law by taking away key exhibit and destroying it without the authority of the court. The Executive showed disrespect to the court,” he said.
This came as defence lawyer Jared Magolo announced plans to sue Government officials who oversaw destruction of the vessel.
Magolo says he will institute theft proceeding against Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe, Interior PS Monica Juma and Coast Regional Commissioner Nelson Marwa for presiding over the destruction of the boat owned by a British tycoon.
Clement Serge Bristol of Seychelles, who was the yacht’s pilot, and Kenyans Ahmed Said Bakar, Mohamed Bakari Mohamed, Sharifu Mzee Mohamed and Ahmed Hussein Salim have been charged with trafficking in the heroin.
And an affidavit sworn by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations yesterday confirmed the yacht was missing after and was destroyed “pursuant to an Executive Order.”
The yacht christened Baby Iris was destroyed by the Kenyan military under supervision of the said officials.
Before its capture in a yard in Kilifi on April 10 last year, MV Baby, Iris which is registered in Singapore, ferried wealthy Western tourists and vacationers to Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar and Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.
This move did not go down well with the Judiciary because the vessel was blown up without the authority of the court.