Kenyan leader inks bill on prisoner swap with foreign states
09 October 2015, 20:46
Nairobi - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday signed into law a bill that would enable the East African nation to swap prisoners with other countries.
A statement from Kenyatta's office said the Transfer of Prisoners Bill 2014 creates a framework for facilitating the exchange of prisoners pursuant to agreements between Kenya and other countries.
"The Transfer of Prisoners Act is aimed at facilitating arrangements for the transfer of persons serving sentences of imprisonment for criminal offences committed in Kenya or countries outside Kenya, pursuant to subsisting agreements," the statement said.
The Bill which is aimed at enhancing Kenya's security cooperation with other countries comes at a time when the country has sentenced several pirates, terrorism suspects and illegal aliens to serve jail terms.
Several Kenyans have also been committed to jail in foreign countries for different crimes, including drug trafficking. The Bill spells out stringent conditions under which such transfers can be undertaken.
Also read: Kuria’s confession won’t trigger violence in Rift Valley, says Murkomen
"The purpose of this Act is to facilitate the transfer of prisoners between Kenya and countries which it has entered into agreements with, to enable prisoners to serve out their sentences of imprisonment in the countries of their nationality or in countries with which they have community ties," the statement said.
According to the Bill, a prisoner may be transferred to a Kenyan prison following a request by the Kenyan government to the country where the prisoner is serving a jail term.
The request may also be made by the prisoner or their representative.
Meanwhile, the president also signed Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines Act which provides for the prohibition of use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and their destruction in accordance with the Ottawa convention, and for connected purposes.
The purpose of this Act is to implement Kenya's obligations under the Convention.
The Act ensures that the State is bound to take action on any person who violates the law on the same and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 50 U.S. dollars or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.