KDF appeals acquittal of ex-Kenya Navy soldiers

The Ex-Kenya Navy Soldiers accused of deserting service PHOTO COURTESY

Mombasa, KENYA: Ex-soldiers acquitted on desertion charges in 2015, on Thursday suffered a blow as the appellant court in Mombasa allowed the Kenya Defence Forces to appeal the case.

The lawyer representing 26 ex-soldiers Samuel Odhiambo had opposed an appeal against his clients stating that when his clients were being acquitted, the KDF Act 2012 only provided for appeal for the accused but not the prosecution.

The prosecution will now use the amended KDF act to launch an appeal overturning the high court’s decision to set the ex-Kenya Navy soldiers free.

The martial court had convicted them to serve life imprisonment after they were found guilty of deserting duty in Somalia.

High Court judge Martin Muya one year later overturned the ruling stating that there was not enough evidence to prove that the ex-soldiers had deserted duty in Somalia.

The Ex-soldiers had been convicted of deserting the military to work for US security firms in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Appellant judge Alnashir Visram directed the prosecution to file the appeal and serve the respondent within 14 days before the matter is mentioned for further directions.