Life sentences for alleged Kenyan deserters

Discussion in 'Africa' started by JoakimFlorence, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. JoakimFlorence

    JoakimFlorence Banned

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    The court-martials in the Kenya Defense forces for alleged desertion-in-wartime against several former soldiers are close to wrapping up their proceedings. The court-martials have been presided over by civilian magistrates serving as judge advocates.

    Four men have already been sentenced to life imprisonment, and 20 more awaiting their fate. The accused (who claim to have resigned from the Kenyan military service) left without permission in 2007-2008 for the purpose of earning more money by working for U.S. security firms in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq. The accused complain they were tricked into returning to the military so they could supposedly pick up their separation papers. The public and media have been barred from the trials.

    http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/arti...ldiers-for-life-two-others-to-face-fate-today
     
  2. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It looks like a judge has (correctly in my view) decided that the soldiers are guilty of "absence without leave", rather than desertion.

    The Director of Public Prosecutions vehemently disagreed with this change in decision, saying that any leniency would get in the way of instilling discipline among soldiers. He also argued that by overriding the decision of the military forces, it would set a precedent to reduce the powers of the court-martial as a disciplinary mechanism.
    "It will also visit great uncertainty to the forces as to what constitutes the offence of desertion as opposed to that of absence without leave."
    The principal prosecutor Jami Yamina argued that High Court Judge Martin Muya had erred in freeing the accused soldiers who are said to have left the Kenya Navy to work for United States security firms. The 25 reportedly joined the US security firms to collect intelligence in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.
    Justice Muya had reasoned that the prosecution had failed to prove its case in court, adding that the soldiers had not deserted duty because Kenya was not at war at the time.

    Most of the public opinion seems to be on the side of the soldiers.

    25 Kenya Navy Soldiers Facing Life Imprisonment for Desertion - Kenyans.co.ke
     

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