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Kisumu court charges Russians, Ukranians over work permits

KISUMU, KENYA: Eight foreigners accused of working in the country without work permits have been charged in a Kisumu court.

The suspects are said to have been working in various capacities at a community-based organization in Dunga in Kisumu with some engaged as volunteers.

They include three Russian and five Ukrainian nationals who were charged separately with various counts.

They, however, denied the charges before Chief Magistrate Julius Ngar Ngar and were released on a Sh500, 000 bond each with a surety of similar amount.

The court heard that the suspects committed the crime on June 14.

Lawyers representing them sought to have the foreigners released on reasonable bond terms.

Two other suspects implicated in a similar offense did not take a plea because of a lack of a translator.

In one of the cases, Natalia Yevtushyk, a Ukrainian national denied employing foreign nationals to work as volunteers without work permits. She was charged with three counts.

The court heard that on June 14, 2019, at Presbyterian Daddy’s Community based organization, the suspect was found to have failed to maintain proper records.

Mitchelle Menezes, an advocate representing the suspects asked the court to release her on a reasonable bond terms arguing that she was not a flight risk.

“There is no compelling reason why the accused cannot be released on bond. She is innocent until proven guilty,” said Menezes. He added that their passports had been confiscated.

The prosecution, however, asked the court to reject the request arguing that the suspects can still get documents from their embassies and travel out of the country.

In his ruling, Ngar Ngar said that there have been cases where foreign nationals have disappeared after being granted bond by the court.

“The court grants the accused Sh500, 000 bond and a surety of a similar amount,” said Ngar Ngar.

On Sunday, hundreds of people including children protested the detention of the foreigners whom they claimed have been of help to them.

The group of protesters carried placards and sang next to Kisumu Central Police station before they left with the County Commander Benson Maweu terming their move uncalled for.

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