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12 Ethiopian aliens slapped with KES 20K fine

20 March 2014, 17:17 Joseph Njung’eh

Nyeri - Twelve Ethiopian immigrants who were arrested early this week for being in the country illegally were Thursday fined KES.20, 000 or in default serve a jail term of six months.

They appeared before Nyeri law courts Resident Magistrate John Aringo where the charges of being in the country illegally were read out to them in Amharic Language through a translator.

The teary youngsters pleaded guilty to the charges but asked for leniency from the court claiming that although they were in the country illegally, they did not intend to cause any harm.

“It is true am an Ethiopian and I was in the country illegally, but am begging the court not to jail me,” said one of the suspects, Elias Lama through the translator. 

The translator was called into the court after the case failed to kick off on Tuesday as the suspects could neither understand English nor Kiswahili.

The court heard that the 12 were arrested by police officers manning a roadblock along the Nyeri-Narumoru road on Monday, while traveling towards Nyeri in a private van.

When they were arraigned in court two days later, the suspects broke into loud wails as soon as they were marched to the dock even before the charges were facing them could be read out.

The court was puzzled as the suspects cried out even more loudly when they were asked which language they understood so as the charges could be read out to them.

However, prosecutor Bernard Wamalwa asked for two days adjournment during which the court searched for the translator.

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