Ministry ‘can’t help three men on trial in Ethiopia’

The Ministry of
Foreign Affairs yesterday said its hands are tied in saving the lives of
three Kenyans being tried in an Ethiopian Court.

Osbourn
Otindo, Maxwell Omondi and Jedrick Mugo are facing charges of illegally erecting communication systems and for being in
the country illegally.

The director of
Diaspora Affairs at the ministry Washington Oloo said the three will have
to serve their sentences in Ethiopia if convicted since there is no bilateral
arrangement between the two countries.

Oloo said they can only ensure that consular services are being
accorded to them.

“This are people
who are being tried for putting up illegal communication systems. If found guilty, they will have to serve their sentences there. We cannot interfere with judicial sovereignty of a country,” he
said.

Osbourn’s brother, Oscar Otindo said his experience with Kenya’s
foreign ministry has been hectic.

His brother was
arrested in October 2014 and they only learnt of his welfare in March
2015 through the relatives of Zakayo Gatimu.

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Gatimu 37, had also been
arrested on January 10, 2015 and detained at Kalit Prison in Addis Ababa but died on December 10.

Osbourn last saw his
brother September last year. His defense hearing was conducted on January 11 and the matter will be coming up again on Friday this
week.

“My brother used
to work for Eagline Connex- an Ethiopian based company. He only came to know that private telecommunications company in Ethiopia are illegal after setting up in the business,” he said.

Jedrick Mugo has since been
sentenced to serve seven years in prison.

According to his
sister Jackie Mugo, they have requested for pardon from the Ethiopian
government which is yet to be granted.

Jedrick 38, has a
wife and two children back in Kenya.

“He has a lot of
faith. He is a strong willed man. Atleast the prisons there are
clean and well maintained. They are not harassed. We are just hoping
for the best,” the sister said.

 

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