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Lawyer Brian Khaemba tells the court that the deceased woman in a murder case is alive. Photo ANNETTE WAMBULWA

 

A Nairobi court was on Wednesday told that a Belgian woman whose murder trial is ongoing is alive.

Lawyer Brian Khaemba shocked litigants when he claimed that the Belgian woman, whom his client has been accused of killing, contacted him and confirmed that she was alive.

Khaemba is representing Lucy Waithera, who is accused of killing Belgian Dysseleer Mirielle Lesoipa alias Leila.

He wants the court to halt the trial that began on Tuesday until they can confirm if the woman is indeed alive.

The body of the woman has never been found and police believe she was cremated. Leila disappeared in 2019.

Khaemba wants the DCI to investigate the number that contacted him on Wednesday morning at 6am.

According to Khaemba, the woman told him that the two accused persons in the dock were innocent and should be released.

In a WhatsApp screenshot filed in the letter to DCI, the alleged Leila tells Khaemba to help her friend Waithera and the lawyer who was charged.

“My lover is behind this, I sold all my properties, am scared for Lucy because she took all, he got jealous and has been threatening. I hope she find peace, someone big is involved and am scared for her please, she is my only best friend (sic),” the message read.

The alleged number further goes on to say that she is unable to talk as she is using a machine that gives her headache and she is not used to it.

In a letter to DCI, Khaemba says Leila once called him on April 29, 2021, via WhatsApp.

“In the course of the conversation, I tried to convince her to show up and set the record straight, but unfortunately her phone went off. Today, she sent me a WhatsApp text message at 6.48am, still insisting that she is alive and that my client is innocent,” the letter reads.

Khaemba adds, “We therefore request that the trial herein be stayed and the DCI be directed to trace the said deceased to set the record straight.”

However, the prosecution objected to the adjournment of the matter, saying the information provided by Khaemba was not verified.

The state says that the alleged message was a picture and not a video, which would have been easy to verify.

The prosecution asked the court to order the matter to proceed.

The state says preliminary investigations show that the number was not registered in the name of the deceased, but it is registered in the name of Newton Muendia of ID 35380572.

They say they have information that the number was moving around the Nairobi region.

“We are in the process of tracing the owner of the phone to record a statement. The lawyer should record a statement at the nearest police station,” the court heard.

In response, Khaemba said he was shocked by the manner in which the prosecution was casually handling his claim.

“What if it’s true that she is alive, my Lord?” Khaemba posed.

He further said he was only helping the court dispense justice.

Lawyer Wandugi Kirathe asked the court to halt proceedings, saying nobody has ever found the body to date.

Justice Ogembo, in a short ruling, directed Khaemba to present the information to investigating agencies who will file a report in court to verify his claims.

Meantime, the case will proceed.

Leila lived in Blankets estate, Mwariki, Nakuru East, before her disappearance.

Waithera was arrested on February 1, 2020, in her Milimani residence in Nakuru, where the alleged deceased woman's bank cards and a copy of the death certificate were recovered. - ANNETTE WAMBULWA, The Star

Sudan's top army Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan holds a press conference at the General Command of the Armed Forces in Khartoum, Sudan, Oct. 26, 2021. Photo Ashraf Shazly/AFP via Getty Images

 

CAIRO — There have been several regional and international attempts to defuse tension in Khartoum, following the Oct. 25 coup by the Sudanese army led by Sudanese Armed Forces Chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. The military took power and dissolved the transitional government after arresting Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

South Sudan immediately stepped in as a mediator to resolve the dispute. Tut Galwak, adviser to President Salva Kiir for security affairs, arrived in Khartoum at the end of October at the head of a peace negotiations team and delivered a message to Burhan.

In a press statement, Galwak said that the South Sudan delegation held several meetings, notably with Burhan and Hamdok as well as the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC).

On Nov. 4, Galwak said that a meeting is anticipated between the dismissed prime minister and the army chief in a bid to reach an agreement, the terms of which would be announced shortly after.

Salah Halima, an Egyptian ambassador and former assistant foreign minister, praised the efforts of the international powers, notably Juba, in calming the situation in Khartoum, stressing that things are heading toward restoring a transitional civil rule and adherence to the Constitutional Charter.

“It appears that the situation in Sudan will not be restored to the pre-Oct. 25 status quo. It is likely to be a civilian-led government as opposed to a partisan government,” Halima told Al-Monitor.

He expects “a partnership between the civilians who will form the government that will be headed by Hamdok, and the Security and Defense Council under the army’s supervision. Both the military and civilian components would manage the daily affairs until the end of the transitional period and the inauguration of parliament and the Supreme Constitutional Court, some judicial bodies and the formation of a civil government."

On Oct. 25 a political crisis broke out in Sudan, threatening the country’s democratic path, when Burhan ordered the arrest of Hamdok, who was detained at his home, as well as a spate of arrests against several ministers and FFC officials — a move that was described as a coup d’etat, prompting the Sudanese to take to the streets calling for the return of a transitional civilian government.

Cairo was absent from signing the Quartet statement, in which Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United States and the United Kingdom called for the restoration of the civilian government to power in Sudan and the end of the state of emergency.

“Cairo was not absent as some like to say. The statement was issued by the states that were preparing to support Khartoum economically at that time,” Halima said, stressing that Egypt had a clear position in supporting Sudan, stabilizing the situation and standing firmly by the Sudanese people’s choices.

He noted that Egypt stands at the same distance from all parties. “Stability in Sudan is a major concern for Cairo. Egypt’s national security depends on that of Sudan,” Halima added, stressing that there have been unannounced diplomatic contacts between the two countries in relation to the current crisis.

The head of the Supreme Council of the Beja Tribes, Muhammad al-Amin Turk, said in a statement that amid the exceptional circumstances in the country, ports and roads in Port Sudan will be opened for a month until the formation of the new government, after having been closed since Sept. 17.

Hani Raslan, an Egyptian expert in Sudanese affairs, said that Sudan has been facing complete political paralysis even before Burhan’s measures. He explained that sit-ins have been sweeping the east of the country, with roads to Port Sudan cut off, which negatively affected the daily lives of the Sudanese people.

“The economic situation could not get any worse. Burhan’s measures took the crisis to a different level, allowing growing external interference in Sudan’s internal affairs,” he told Al-Monitor. “In all his previous speeches, Burhan stressed the army’s keenness on the democratic transition of power in the country and the completion of the transitional period.”

Commenting on Juba’s mediation in the crisis, Raslan said, “All international efforts and Juba’s mediation efforts are aimed at reaching a settlement that would end the political tension in Sudan. Both parties to the crisis appear ready for a settlement with certain preconditions. All mediation efforts are gravitating around such a compromise.”

In an Oct. 31 tweet, Volker Perthes, the United Nations special representative in Sudan, said that he had discussed the parties to the crisis mediation options and a possible way to move forward in Sudan, noting that Hamdok was under house arrest.

“The Quartet statement’s main purpose is to cut off the road for Burhan to economic aid from the Gulf. Riyadh and the UAE shifted positions. After having called for self-restraint and priority to the country’s best interest, the two countries are now calling for the restoration of a transitional civilian government to power in line with Western demands,” Raslan said.

He said, “The statement aims to further pressure Burhan to comply with the terms of a compromise. But at the end of the day, any settlement must be balanced between the demands of the two parties. Pressuring one party into an unbalanced settlement could backfire.”

Raslan noted, “Sudan’s current crisis is a joint responsibility between the two sides. The FFC’s performance was not up to the required level and could not carry out the tasks provided for in the Constitutional Charter, including the formation of the Legislative Council, the Electoral Commission, the constitution, among other tasks.”

He added, “This is not to mention the differences and rifts within the group, which weakened its position. Therefore, the international powers seeking a settlement to diffuse the political tension in Khartoum must come up with an integrated settlement, which would be up to the aspirations of all segments of the Sudanese people, especially since Khartoum could not afford any more failure of any kind.”  

In a statement, the UN announced that its Human Rights Council will hold an emergency session on the unstable situation in Sudan. Meanwhile, the United States froze $700 million in economic aid earmarked for the peaceful transition of power in Khartoum, in the wake of the military coup. - Baher al-Kady, Al-Monitor

 

Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias will pay a visit to Rwanda on Thursday, where he is expected to meet with Rwanda's President Paul Kagame and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Vincent Biruta, ANA reports.

Talks will focus on strengthening bilateral cooperation between Greece and Rwanda in areas of common interest, the foreign ministry noted in a statement.

In the context of strengthening bilateral economic cooperation and promoting the openness of Greek investment activities, it was announced that there will be a presentation of investment opportunities in Rwanda by the Deputy CEO of Rwanda Development Board, Zephanie Niyonkuru, and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Patricie Uwase during the talks between the two delegations. -  

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