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KES 1.3 billion heroine case to continue

02 September 2014, 19:02 Ken Wekesa

MombasaA magistrate court termed the distraction of the ship found trafficking heroine worth 1.3 billion, a big blow to the rule of law in Kenya.

In his ruling senior magistrate Maxwel Gacheru said the distraction of the ship is not the end of the case us the ship was part of many exhibits that were collected by the prosecution for the case.

“The court had only given an order for the distraction of the drugs the law provides that the drugs should be destroyed completely until there is no residue or in any other manner that will ensure the total distruction “said Gacheru

Gacheru said he was not present when the ship and the drugs were destroyed at the high seas of the Indian Ocean.

I was not aware if the law was followed during the distraction added Gacheru.

The defense lawyers lead by Cliff Ombeta had made an application before the court to compel the prosecution give an explanation why the ship was destroyed, yet an application had made by the defense council to release the ship.

Also read: A billion worth of heroine blown at sea

“It’s important for the prosecution to explain why which an exibit of the court was was removed from the court and destroyed without a specific court order” said Ombetah

Ombetah said he was surprised how the 90 days notice given by the state for the owner of the ship to claim the ship had elapsed yet the court had already given a directive for the owner to make a formal application through a sworn affidavit.

The assistant director of public prosecution Nicolas Mutuku objected the defense application stating that the prosecution are having difficulties of responding to the application made.

“If the exhibits destroyed were in custody of the judiciary it’s the magistrate who will be the first person to make a formal complain so that the matter can be investigated” said Mutuku

He said the DPP office which is prosecuting the case is an independent office from the executive and they were receiving directives from the state just like the accused lawyers.

Mutuku said without an official application made before the court the director of public prosecution had no obligation to give an explanation

“To date the ownership of the ship is an issue and non of the charged accused have claimed the ownership of the goods on board and the ship” said Mutuku   

On Friday afternoon the director of public prosecution Keriako Tobiko had made an application before then high court to have the ship destroyed.

Justice Maureen Odero upheld the application made by the magistrate court which had given the go head to state to destroy the narcotics.

Senior Magistrate Maxwel Gacheru directed the case will proceed as scheduled the case will be heard on August 27.

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