, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 9 – The High Court has extended an order suspending bond granted to a Briton and Kenyan facing drug trafficking charges until Wednesday.
High Court Judge Luka Kimaru made the order after it emerged that Jack Marrian and Francis Mwanthi had not filed responses to an affidavit by the Director of Public Prosecutions opposing their release on bail.
Justice Kimaru on Monday suspended Marrian’s Sh70 million bond and two Kenyan sureties moments after Kibera Senior Resident Magistrate Derrick Kuto freed him after the DPP filed an objection.
Mwanthi had also been granted a bond of Sh60 million and two Kenyan sureties.
They two were separately charged with trafficking in 100 kilos of cocaine worth Sh598 million which was seized at the Port of Mombasa.
The two could face life sentences if convicted.
Defence lawyer Sheetal Kapila told AFP he believed the case was driven by the authorities’ desire “to stop Kenya being a transit point” for drugs, but in this case, “it’s the wrong man who’s been picked up.”
“Unknown people have smuggled this drug into the consignment,” Kapila said.
Mombasa, on Africa’s east coast has long been used as a hub for drugs bound for Asia and Europe.
– Life of privilege –
Marrian’s case has caused sensation in Britain, where the aristocratic background of his mother Lady Emma Clare Campbell of Cawdor and his attendance at top private schools, including the alma mater of Prince William’s wife Catherine, have caught the eye of the press.
His family’s relationship with Kenya dates back decades, his lawyer said, as Marrian’s grandfather served as a minister in the colonial government just before independence in 1963.
His father David Marrian said he had spoken with his son daily since his arrest.
“I have no doubt that Jack will be exonerated,” he said.
His father confirmed the firms Marrian works for – Kenya- and Uganda-based Mshale Commodities and London-based ED&F Man – were backing him “100 percent”.
In a statement released late Monday, a Mshale spokeswoman said it would continue to provide support “to ensure that justice is done based on facts and evidence; we are confident that Jack will be fully exonerated once the facts are presented.”
The trial is due to open on October 3.