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Economy

Kenyans jailed in S. Sudan in Sh2bn loss free

Activists in a past demo in Nairobi to push for the release of the Kenyans detained in South Sudan.  FILE PHOTO | NMG
Activists in a past demo in Nairobi to push for the release of the Kenyans detained in South Sudan. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Four Kenyans jailed for life in South Sudan for aiding the loss of Sh2 billion ($18.93 million) are expected back home on Wednesday.

The Business Daily learnt that Anthony Mwadime, Ravi Ramesh, Boniface Muriuki and Anthony Keya were freed following talks between Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Salva Kiir.

They were in a group including 12 South Sudan nationals who were also cumulatively jailed for 67 years.

At the time they were sentenced, Kenya and South Sudan did not have a prisoner exchange or extradition arrangement.

They were accused of aiding the loss of more than $18.93 million in cash withdrawal that involved the forging of signatures for Mr Kiir, the army chief of staff and other government officials.

The South Sudan High Court determined that the fraud was committed during the civil war between 2013 and 2015.

The families of the four had appealed to the government and the United Nations Human Rights Council to intervene.

They complained the four were not given a fair hearing.

They further argued the sentences were harsh and that they were proxy victims of business wars between rivals, one of whom was their employer, for lucrative government tenders.

One of the South Sudanese sentenced include businessman John Agou, who was a senior security officer in President Kiir’s office, and his wife Anyeth Chat Bol.

The two founded the business Click Technologies which supplied electronic items to the Juba government and employed the four Kenyans.

Mr Agou, the court found, conspired with his employees to swindle the Office of the President and other ministries, by receiving payments for deliveries that never were.

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