Prosecution of 27 former soldiers in three courts martial has been stopped by the High Court in Nairobi.
Justice David Majanja stopped the case on Wednesday after the former soldiers said a trial in a court martial violated their constitutional rights as they are no longer in the armed forces.
Justice Majanga also transferred the case to the Mombasa law courts.
The cases will now be taken to the High Court which will listen to their contention that their constitutional rights were violated and also decide how the case will go on, if at all.
Judge advocates Samuel Gacheru and Joyce Gandani, sitting in separate courts martial, adjourned proceedings at the Kenya Navy Headquarters at Mtongwe base in Mombasa when the defence team served them with the orders.
“Because the High Court has issued a stay order for these proceedings, we shall adjourn until Thursday for mention and further direction,” they said.
The titles of Mr Gacheru, a principal magistrate, and Ms Gandani, a senior principal magistrate at the Mombasa law courts, changed to judge advocates for the courts martial.
Defence lawyers are Michael Mwanyale, Charles Mwalimu, Dan Kamonda, Augustine Ondiek and Henry Kurauka.
On Thursday afternoon, Justice Edward Muriithi sitting in Mombasa said the hearings will resume on March 16.
The defence lawyers complained that it was difficult to serve top officials such as the Kenya Defence Force Council, Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo, Chief of Defence Forces Major-General Julius Karangi, Kenya Navy Commander Major-General Ngewa Mukala, Judge Advocate court martial and Attonery-General Githu Muigai.
Unlike, Mr Zacharia Oichoe, a former serviceman who was charged last week dressed in military uniform, the soldiers whose trial was halted on Thursday wore civilian clothes.
The change in dress may have been precipitated by their objection to being tried in a military court on the grounds that they were no longer serving soldiers.
( Courtesy Daily Nation & Government of Kenya……..Source……. Our Freelance Contributor in Nairobi & New Africa Business News )