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Lawyers clash over Akashas transfer

By Willis Oketch | Nov 20th 2014 | 2 min read

Mombasa, Kenya: The state has admitted that the police secretly removed the son of slain drug baron Ibrahim Akasha Abdallah from Port Police Station on November 12 and flew him to Nairobi for interrogation without a court order.

The development sparked a storm of protest from defence lawyers who claimed Kenyan authorities may be plotting to extradite him and other suspects to the US illegally.

Following an admission by head of the Anti-Narcotics Unit Dar Hamisi Masa that Ibrahim was secretly flown to Nairobi, without his lawyers being informed, lawyers for the suspects sought a court order prohibiting any such illegal extradition to be served on Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku and Mombasa County commander Robert Kitur.

Masa swore an affidavit dated yesterday in which he admitted Ibrahim's removal but added it was not "done maliciously or with the intention of handing him over to any other authority without orders of this court".

Last week, Ibrahim's lawyer Cliff Ombeta first raised the matter in court disclosing that four police officers took his client from police cells with neither his nor the courts permission and flew him for interrogation in Nairobi.

Violated ruling

Yesterday, Ombeta said the fear of illegal hand over to the US was real and further claimed that Kenya appeared to be under US orders. He also claimed that the operation in which the Akashas and their accomplices were arrested at their Nyali residence was "led by an American called Willy Brown".

Ombeta claimed that the transfer violated a ruling by the court, adding that his two clients have in the past been plucked from prison and taken to the US for trial illegally.

Defending Masa's affidavit, Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecution Alex Muteti pleaded with Mombasa Chief Magistrate Maxwell Gicheru not to find the action illegal because it was done without ill motive.

Muteti said it was true police secretly flew Ibrahim Akasha from Mombasa to his house in Nairobi which had been raided by police officers in his absence and six bullets recovered.

"It was necessary for the investigators to find out why the bullets were found in his house in Nairobi after a search was done there in his absence. It was an innocent act. The officer did not violate the court orders," said Muteti.

Ibrahim Akasha, his brother Baktash Akasha, Vijay Goswam and Hussein Gulam are being detained, awaiting the process to have them extradited to US to face charges of conspiracy to import heroin.


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