Frank Wanyama, Alex Olaba lose bid to suspend retrial

Former Kenyan Internationals Frank Wanyama and Alex Olaba have lost an attempt to have retrial of the gang-rape case against them suspended.

Nation Sports reports, that Senior Resident Magistrate Ms Zainab Abdul ruled that she had no jurisdiction to grant the wishes sought since the two accused persons had not obtained an order from the high court staying the rape case.

With their application dismissed, their retrial as directed by the High Court in June 2020 is fixed for hearing on February 26, 2021.

“In the absence of a high court staying these proceedings, this court lacks jurisdiction to grant the prayers sought. I, therefore, direct the rape case to proceed,” Ms Abdul ruled.

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The two players through their lawyer Pravin Bowry challenged the gang rape case against them claiming they will not get justice following a comment by a judge, who ordered their retrial after quashing a 15-year jail term handed down to them last August.

Mr Bowry stated that: “I urge this matter be referred to the high court for hearing and determination of an alleged abuse of the court process and gross violation of the applicants’ rights to fair trial contrary to the provisions of Article 50(2)(a) of the Constitution of Kenya,”

Mr Bowry said the judge commented on the substance of the evidence that supports the charges against the accused and “is, therefore, an abuse of the process of the court.”

In her objection, Ms Onunga said Justice Macharia based her judgement on a technicality when she ordered a retrial.

She added that the accused cannot “reap the benefit of their appeal and at the same time challenge the benefits they have gained from.”

She asked the court to dismiss the application for stay of the rape case, saying it’s a move to terminate their trial.

On November 19, 2020, the magistrate declined to stay the trial pending the outcome of an appeal lodged at the Court of Appeal on the order for retrial.

The two were convicted for gang-raping a musician on February 10, 2018 at a house party at Seefar apartments in Nyayo Highrise Nairobi.


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