17 July 1996


Koigi wa Wamwere's health deteriorating; decision due on application for release on bail pending appeal

**Updates IFEX alerts dated 14 February 1996 and
4 October 1995**

NDIMA reported on 13 July 1996 that jailed politician, human
rights activist and writer Koigi wa Wamwere's health has
deteriorated. On several court appearances, wa Wamwere has claimed
the government wants to kill him and his co-accused through poor
diet and denial of medical attention. Wa Wamwere's lawyer, Mirugi
Kariuki, told NDIMA that during wa Wamwere's application for bail
pending appeal, Kariuki produced medical evidence from two doctors
who visited wa Wamwere in jail. Kariuki said, "It was a tentative
report, but the report was quite clear that continued prison
condition could not enable him to heal from the kind of ailment he
is suffering from [an ulcer]. And the doctors recommended his
immediate release so that he can get medical attention when he is
outside prison."
On 2 July, Chief Justice A.M Cockar rejected a petition by wa
Wamwere and his co-accused to constitute a three-judge bench to
hear their application for release on bail pending appeal.
Concerned at the potential bias of Nakuru Resident Judge David
Rimita and fearing they would not receive a fair hearing in his
(Rimita's) court, Kariuki had petitioned the Chief Justice the
week prior to constitute a three-judge bench to hear the
application, scheduled to be heard on 5 July by Rimita. The Chief
Justice said he would consider an application for a two-judge
bench to hear the appeal "when (the) time comes."
On 5 July, wa Wamwere and his co-accused were in court for the
hearing of their bail application. A decision is expected on 24
July, when they are scheduled to appear before Rimita in Nakuru to
hear the ruling. According to Kariuki, an appeal in the case has
not yet been heard, because "the record of the evidence and the
judgement has not been availed to the defence to enable us to
petition the court."
In a 13 July interview with NDIMA, Kariuki maintained the charges
against wa Wamwere are fabrications of the Kenyan government. The
full transcript of the interview is appended to this document.

Appeals To


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