The acquittal of a British national, Alexander Jack Wolf Marrian, charged with trafficking Cocaine worth KSh598 million has stirred public uproar and raised a myriad of wanting questions in judicial corridors.
High Court Judge Luka Kimaru freed them following a request by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to discontinue their prosecution after it emerged they were victims of circumstances.
That the acquittal was imminent became apparent in January when the prosecution withdrew the case against the Briton who faced charges of smuggling 100kg of cocaine into the country.
The DPP had appealed against the decision by a Kibera Court questioning his powers to withdraw the charges and refused to free the two.
While seeking to terminate the criminal proceedings, the DPP reasoned that it would not be in the public interest to continue with the prosecution of Marrian together with Roy Francis Mwanthi who were caught up in a web of international drug trafficking network.
Many Kenyans are shocked that after 30-months in the Kenyan courts, faced with serious charges, Jack Marrian, the nephew of the Earl of Cawdor has been acquitted.
Lawyers for Mr Marrian, 33, had been due to begin their defence when the prosecution, unexpectedly and without explanation, submitted a written application stating that they no longer had a case to present.
The intervention was greeted with undisguised relief by Mr Marrian, who faced a 30-year prison sentence if convicted, and his family.
“We are delighted that the prosecution have dropped all of the charges,” Mr Marrian’s father David, a Nairobi-based artist, said in January. “The judge obviously feels he needs to deliberate so we will get a final verdict a week today but now there’s no prosecution, there is no case to answer really.”
“Briton Alexander Jack Wolf Marrian, charged with trafficking cocaine worth 598 million shillings at Kilindini port Mombasa, acquitted. I NEVER expected him to be found guilty so no surprise here,” wrote HON KIBUCHI MWAI on his twitter handle.
“If this is justice, then every suspect should be accorded the same treatment from arrest to prosecution,” wrote Michael Kamau.
Mr Marrian, who has been on bail, was arrested in July 2016 after Kenyan police at the port of Mombasa discovered the cocaine, with a street value of £4.5 million, in a container carrying a consignment of Brazilian sugar registered in the name of his company. Both Mr Marrian and his co-defendant Roy Mwanthi, a Kenyan clearing agent at the port, denied involvement.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had tipped the Kenyan authorities off about the contraband
In his finding justice Kimaru has applauded the DPP for having the courage to acknowledge his mistake even after calling witnesses to give evidence.
“This court agrees with the applicant that the trial court exhibited an unusual interest in the case that clouded it from appreciating the information placed before it that the DPP no longer believed they are criminally liable,” justice Kimaru said.
The DPP, Justice Kimaru added did not act in abuse of the court process and faults the trial court for unreasonably questioning the exercise of the DPP to withdraw the charge.
The drug haul will be destroyed in public on a date to be agreed upon within 14 days under the supervision of the Chief Magistrate’s Court.
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