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Judicial CP - October 2000
Daily Nation, Nairobi, 20 October 2000
Bill is published to curb police tortureBy NATION Correspondent
The government has published a Bill creating a commission to investigate cases of torture.
Attorney-General Amos Wako said yesterday the commission would conduct investigations on its own volition or upon a complaint by any person or group of persons.
This was contained in Mr Wako's message during the launch of the International Global Campaign Against Torture in Mombasa. The A-G is in the town to chair a meeting of East African Attorneys-General.
He said the commission would also have the power to visit prisons and other places of detention.
"This is not mere rhetoric but a matter of commitment borne out of our belief in the inherent dignity of individuals," the A-G said, adding that the aim was to make the country a torture-free zone.
The Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2000 proposes the abolition of corporal punishment and repeal of the provision that allows courts to admit as evidence confessions made to police.
This, Mr Wako said, would remove a major motivating factor to torture as it has long been believed that the bulk of complaints of torture made against the police are usually related to attempts to obtain confessions from suspects.
Copyright Nation Newspapers Limited
Daily Nation, Nairobi, 25 October 2000
Appeal Dropped After Death HintBy Patrick Mathangani in Nairobi
Three men hurriedly withdrew an appeal against a seven-year sentence yesterday after they were warned that they would be sentenced to death if they went ahead with the case.
Joseph Kamau Wachira, Gerald Mwangi and George Mwangi Chege had gone to the Court of Appeal to challenge a sentence passed by High Court Judge J.L.A Osiemo in Nyeri on April 2, 1996, after an earlier appeal.
Yesterday's appeal hearing was before Chief Justice Bernard Chunga, and Judges A. B. Shah and Emmanuel O'Kubasu, currently sitting in Nyeri.
The judges told the three that if the appeal was heard, they would be found guilty of violent robbery, which carries a mandatory death sentence.
They were jailed for 10 years each and six strokes of the cane by a former Nyeri Senior Principal Magistrate, Mr. Muga Apondi.
They had been charged with robbing Ms Lilian Wangu Kiragu of household items worth Sh832,000 at Burguret village in Nyeri District on the night of May 15 and 16. The Central Provincial State Counsel Ammon Oluoch said it was wrong for the magistrate to have reduced their charge to simple robbery.
On appeal, Justice Osiemo reduced the sentence to 7 years and three strokes of the cane.
Yesterday, Mr. Justice Chunga said evidence was adduced to the effect that they were armed with pangas, rungus and axes, and that they had used violence against Ms Mwangi.
He said: "This court is warning you that if this appeal is heard, we may rectify the trial magistrate's error of finding you guilty on a lesser charge. Consequently, this court would impose the death sentence against you."
The three immediately raised their hands and said they wished to withdraw the appeal.
The judges allowed them to withdraw.
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