4 Kenyans jailed for 72 years in South Sudan still held despite Appeal Court ending sentence

Kenyan ambassador to South Sudan Cleland Leshore visits the four Kenyans jailed in South Sudan over fraud claims, March 14, 2017. /COURTESY

More than a month after a South Sudanese Appeal’s Court quashed a 72-year sentence handed to 4 Kenyans, they are yet to be released, reports the Star.

The four, Anthony Kweya, Boniface Muriuki, Antony Mwadime and Ravi Ghaghda were sentenced on May 29, 2015.

They are alleged to have stolen sh1.4 trillion ($ 14 million) from South Sudan President Salva Kiir’s office in Juba.

Before they were sentenced, they were held in a military detention for nine months before the five months trial came to an end.

They, however, appealed and the country’s Appeal’s Court quashed the ruling in April this year but they are yet to be released.

Back in Kenya, their families staged a protest yesterday after news of their detention even after the sentence was quashed.

They pleaded with the Kenyan government to step in and demand their release.

They presented their petition to the Office of the President, Parliament, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Ministry and South Sudanese Embassy in Nairobi.

Ravi’s sister Tejal Ghaghda said even after hiring a lawyer to represent them, he has been intimidated and was at one point kidnapped at gunpoint.

He was then barred from practicing law in the country.

“Lawyer Kiir Chol who is representing them has been barred from practicing just to frustrate us,” said a tearful Tejal.

An administration officer at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Charles Nyambegi said they will convene a meeting with the family on the matter.