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Ex-soldier gets Sh0.8 million for wrongful detention

By BOAZ KIPNGENOH | July 13th 2015 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

A High Court in Nakuru has awarded a former Kenya Defence Forces KDF) soldier Sh800,000 for unlawful detention at Lanet Barracks, for stealing biscuits worth Sh10  and a bottle of water in 2008.

Joseph Karobia Kinyua, had demanded Sh77.8 million for wrongful detention and being send to jail for five years.

Karobia, then of 81 Tank Battalion, was arrested on November 2008, and arraigned in a court martial sitting at Kenya Military Academy Lanet and charged with six counts of civil offences which included burning his remand cell.

The former KDF soldier claimed before his trial on February 3 2009, was detained for 86 days, exceeding the 72 days thus violating the procedure of arrested persons under the Armed Forces Act and Rules and the 15 balance were not explained.

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Mr Karobia was found guilty of damaging a perimetre wall as he broke into Armed Forces Canteen Organisation where he stole the water and biscuits and attempted to steal Sh43,000. He also attempted to commit suicide at his cell by setting it on fire.

His appeal was dismissed in October 2009 by a Nakuru High Court before refiling in April 2012 claiming his detention and torture amounted to breach of his fundamental rights and freedom as per Chapter 4 of the Constitution.

The former 3KR soldier also sought for order for compensation assessed at Sh27 million,  for torture and inhumane treatment where he claimed he was put on fire in his cell.

Justice Janet Mulwa held that Karobia's detention was not in dispute and his rights violated. The Attorney General, while opposing the petition, said it was bad in law, incurably defective and and lacks merit.

Court noted the petitioner's proposal on assessment of damages through his advocate is not supported by any tangible evidence. She noted that an award of Sh800,000 is reasonable and Sh300,000 for every day was overly exaggerated.

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