NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29 – The State is set to appeal the High Court contempt conviction of Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi, top immigration and security officers.
Attorney General Paul Kihara told Capital FM News Wednesday evening the government will challenge Justice George Odunga’s finding that Matiangi, Immigration Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa, and National Police Service Inspector General Joseph Boinnet disdained court orders directing them to release Opposition activist Miguna Miguna.
Kihara said the State officers had not violated court orders saying they were committed to protecting and enforcing the rule of law.
He said the government is committed to Immigration Laws and the International Conventions on Migration of Persons.
Matiangi, Kihalangwa, Boinnet, as well as Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti, Flying Squad Boss Said Kiprotich, and the officer in charge of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) were convicted by Justice Odunga after failing to honour his summons and produce the controversial lawyer in court on Wednesday.
The conviction came a day after another a High Court Judge ordered the release of Miguna from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where he was restrained since he landed at 2:30pm on Monday.
Lady Justice Roselyn Aburili had directed that Miguna is presented before a duty judge at 9am Wednesday for an inter partes mention of an application filed by lawyer John Khaminwa challenging his detention.
During the inter partes mention and hearing before Justice Odunga on Wednesday, State Counsels, however, told the court that immigration officials could not release Miguna asking for more time to file substantive responses as to why that was the case.
Odunga, however, directed officials cited as respondents in Miguna’s application to produce him in court at 2:30pm, an order that was not complied with.
Matiangi, Kihalangwa, and Boinnet also failed to appear in court despite Justice Odunga having directed them to do so.
State lawyers told Justice Odunga that Matiangi and Boinnet were unable to attend the court session since they were attending a pass out parade of General Service Unit recruits in Embakasi, Nairobi.
In his ruling, Justice Odunga said he would proceed to sentence the officers whether or not they appear in person for sentencing.
He further directed officers holding Miguna at JKIA to produce Miguna in court at 10 am on Thursday.
“The petitioner is to be unconditionally released forthwith to appear before this court tomorrow,” Odunga ruled.