Court temporarily stops extradition proceedings against Akasha sons

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By PHILIP MUYANGA
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The High Court in Mombasa has temporarily stopped extradition proceedings against the sons of slain drug baron Ibrahim Akasha and two foreigners.

The High Court stopped the hearing of the extradition case against Mr Baktash Akasha Abdalla, Mr Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla, Mr Gulam Hussein and Mr Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami after requesting the magistrate’s court file containing the proceedings for the parties to argue an application by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

“The Deputy Registrar should provide the lower court’s file to the High Court, which will act as a stay of the proceedings,” said the judge.

Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Alexander Muteti had sought to have temporary orders issued suspending the extradition proceedings. Mr Muteti argued that his application “might be reduced to an academic exercise” should the magistrate’s court hear the extradition proceedings before the application is determined.

The four men’s lawyers – Mr Kirathe Wandugi, Mr Cliff Ombeta and Prof George Wajackoyah – told the court that there was no need of issuing a temporary order stopping the extradition proceedings since “we will not push to have it heard, considering the DPP’s application”.

However, the lawyers told the High Court that the prosecution’s application needed to be speeded up.

Mr Muteti wants orders by the magistrate’s court presiding over the extradition proceedings revised.

He wants the High Court to consider summoning Mr Mathew Keller and Mr Michael Lockard for cross-examination.

The two Americans’ affidavits were admitted by the magistrate’s court without being challenged by the accused.

The prosecution also wants the court to consider if witnesses ought to be called to testify in the extradition case.

He also wants the court to consider whether there was anything left for determination by the court, after the magistrate admitted the extradition request unchallenged and called on the suspects to respond to the prosecution case.

The prosecution is also seeking to have the court consider whether ordering Mr Keller and Mr Lockard to be summoned for cross-examination after the closure of the prosecution’s case amounts to converting prosecution witnesses into defence witnesses.

The defence lawyers had previously told the magistrate’s court that they needed to cross-examine the two Americans and the sources of their information.

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