NAIROBI – A man who was sentenced to 10 years in jail for attending terrorism training in Somalia will now serve eight years after winning his appeal.
Saleh Omar Nyamache was convicted and sentenced for the offence he committed on or before March 6, 2016 in Dadajabula within Wajir county jointly with others not before court.
He argued that Dadajabula is 75km from Somalia. The prosecution did not provide evidence of how he received instructions and how his travel was facilitated by the alleged persons not before court.
The appellant also took issue with the manner in which the prosecution’s exhibits were retrieved from him and their relevance to the case.
With regard to his alleged admission of the offence, he submitted that the admission was not with regard to the offence he was charged with.
He urged the court to consider the time he had served in custody prior to his conviction. He prayed that the court review the sentence and issue him an appropriate sentence that would give him an opportunity to rehabilitate and re-integrate into society.
The prosecution, however, submitted that Omar could not contend that the plea was equivocal since he was heard and the court passed judgement after he had given a sworn testimony.
The prosecution further submitted that the sentence was proper since it was the minimum provided in law. It, however, conceded that the trial court may have failed to factor in the time he spent in custody.
In his defence at the trial, Omar had given a sworn statement informing the court that he is a Madrasa teacher and stays in Kisumu. He had travelled to Somalia after being told there was a military training in Kismayu and he agreed to go.
He said he did not stay for long. He returned to Kenya and was arrested.
He stated that he was confessing to the mistake and asking for forgiveness since his family was suffering.
On cross-examination he admitted that he had gone to Somalia for training.
The trial court considered the evidence of the prosecution and that of the defence and formed the opinion that Omar had in his testimony admitted to the charge against him, found him guilty and convicted him.
The prosecution led evidence that the appellant intended to proceed to Somalia to receive training for the purposes of terrorism.
Justice Ali Aroni on February 17 ruled that Omar’s appeal only succeeded to the extent of the review of sentence.
“Therefore, taking into account the time the appellant spent in custody, the sentence will be reviewed so that it starts from the time the appellant was placed in custody; March ,8, 2016, which means that he will serve eight years’ imprisonment commencing March 26, 2018.