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Govt bails out jailed Wanjala

NAIROBI, October 22 – The government has provided Sh600, 000 to help secure the release of former Budalangi Member of Parliament Raphael Wanjala and businesswoman Joyce Akinyi from a prison in India.

The two were granted bail on Tuesday by an Indian court but did not gain freedom after failing to produce sureties, which was one of the conditions of their bail terms.

A source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who did not wish to be named said the money was raised through the Kenyan High Commission in India but insisted it was meant for legal fees and not a court surety.

“They are still in custody. They will only be freed once the surety issue is sorted out,” the official said.

It is understood that the two will only be released once they raise two separate sureties of Sh305, 000 each.  In such circumstances, accused people are usually expected to remain within the jurisdiction of the court trying them by surrendering their passports but it’s not clear if this is the case with the two.

Another source said that the Kenya’s High Commissioner in India Francis Kaberia was making frantic efforts to get the two adequate legal representations after getting a directive from Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula.

There was however no immediate comment from the Minister on the new development.

Mr Wanjala and Ms Akinyi have been at the Tihar Prison since October 10 after they were arrested for being in possession of Sh7.5 million which they failed to declare at the airport in New Delhi.

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Newspapers in India reported that the pair had not disclosed to detectives details of their mission there and why they were travelling with such large sums of money.

Ms Akinyi came into public light following a high profile legal tussle with her estranged Nigerian husband Antony Chinedu over the ownership of property amounting to hundreds of millions.

She is said to have travelled to India under the name Ochieng’ Teressa.  She and Mr Wanjala first headed to Uganda then Dubai, before ending up in India.

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