Renditions lawyer petitions government

October 12, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 12 – A lawyer representing nine Kenyans who are being detained in Uganda over the July 11 Kampala bombings has asked the Attorney General to swiftly liaise with the Ugandan authorities to secure their release.

This follows a High Court ruling last month which found that the renditions were illegal and in violation of human rights.

Advocate Mbugua Mureithi has also asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs to take the necessary diplomatic steps to secure the release of Kenyans until proper extradition proceedings were followed.

“We can only hope that our government will be sensitive to the plight of its own people and have our brothers brought back. But that is just a hope. This government if you ask me is purely political and has very little room for the welfare of its people,” he said on Tuesday.

Mr Mbugua said his clients had also filed suits in Kenyan courts to secure their release.

“Similar applications of the same nature are pending. It’s only that the two requests were heard first but the rulings actually speak the same language so you can apply them to any other arising situation of similar facts,” he explained.

He added that the families of those arrested would go back to court if the two governments ignored the directive.

“If they don’t accede to those demands, we will go back to the High Court and ask for orders that would compel the said ministers, Prime Minister and President to take bold steps and bring the Kenyans back. The new Constitution does not exempt anyone from obedience,” he said. 

The lawyer together with the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) also faulted the government spokesman for defending local authorities saying he misquoted the East African Treaty.

“The treaty for East African Community underpins the rule of law, transparency and accountability. Now where does it say, that lawlessness shall be one of the governing principles?” wondered Mr Mbugua.

He further explained that the EAC was governed by the United Nations-model law when it came to matters of cooperation on peace and security.

“The East African Cooperation Treaty under Article 124 clearly states that the community shall adopt UN-model law on mutual legal assistance. This model is a complete rejection of renditions and in its place is a call for adoption of extradition procedures,” he said.

Mr Mbugua further asked the government spokesman to reveal the documents he was quoting on bilateral and multilateral agreements: “He should disclose these agreements that they claim is the basis on which they are doing the renditions. Any information they purport to have should be made known.”

KHRC Executive Director Muthoni Wanyeki also lauded the court’s decision saying it upheld the provisions of the new laws.

“In legal doctrines, there is something called the fruit of the poisoned tree. This means that if an initial action leading to someone being charged and tried is found to be unconstitutional, then anything that follows is similar. So we should be able to challenge anything that goes on in the Ugandan High Court,” she said.


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