NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – The High Court has ordered fresh hearing in a matter involving a Sh1 billion claim by two businessmen who were charged and later acquitted of the murder of slain Mombasa tycoon Ibrahim Akasha’s son 16 years ago.
The Attorney General has consequently petitioned the court to participate in the civil suit by interrogating the evidence presented by Serbian Stojananovic Milan and Kenyan, Jackson Ng’ang’a Waweru.
Milan and Waweru have sued the late Akasha’s widow Hayat, sons Baktash and Nuri as well as former police officer Boniface Ngatia, veteran lawyer John Khaminwa and the Attorney General for malicious prosecution and unlawful imprisonment.
Previously, the two aggrieved men told Justice Sergon they suffered tremendous pain and financial ruin after they were falsely implicated in the killing of Kamaldin Akasha while he was attending to customers at his Sam Sam petrol station near Makupa roundabout in Mombasa on March 28, 2002.
A lone gun-man stealthily approached from behind Kamaldin’s Land Rover Discovery at around 8.30pm and shot him three times at close range before fleeing.
The businessman was left bleeding profusely on the back of his head, neck and chest and was pronounced dead at the Makupa Nursing Home.
Milan and Waweru were abducted by a group of 10 men at the junction of Nairobi’s Haile Selassie Avenue on November 12, 2004 while being driven in a taxi to the city centre from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
They were charged with murder on November 26, 2004 but were set free on February 2, 2007 by retired High Court Judge Nicholas Ombija.
Milan, who was the late Akasha’s close friend, business associate and frequent visitor at his Shanzu residence since 1995, fell seriously ill while in remand prison and was admitted to the Kenyatta National Hospital where he incurred a bill of Sh993,296.
The prosecution had called 26 witnesses in support of its case, which dealt mainly with the alleged illicit drugs business and subsequent fall-outs between the late Akasha and his cronies.
Out of the 12 witnesses who had testified in the initial abortive trial, none of them had adversely mentioned Milan and Waweru.
Justice Ombija had held that the prosecution case against Milan and Waweru was purely anchored on circumstantial evidence.
It was clear there existed family differences that overshadowed Kamaldin’s killing, he had said.
The judge recalled that the prosecution intended to prove there was drug business relationship between Milan and Waweru on the one hand and the late Akasha and Kamaldin on the other hand.
The execution of the late Akasha, in Amsterdam, Netherlands on May 3, 2000, triggered acrimony among members of his polygamous family.
However, Justice Ombija observed that Milan had left Kenya by a flight from Moi International Airport in Mombasa at 1.30pm on March 27, 2002, a day before Kamaldin was shot dead.
“He could not be the gunman described by eye witnesses,” the judge said.
Justice Ombija said the evidence offered by prosecution witnesses was “contradictory, worthless and discredited.”
He had agreed with the defence that Milan and Waweru were mere scapegoats.