Judge acquits former KDF soldiers jailed for life by court martial for desertion

Twenty-five former soldiers sentenced to life by a court martial for desertion have been acquitted by the High Court in Mombasa.

Justice Martin Muya said the offence of desertion has not been proved.

He however said the offence of absence without leave has been proved but ruled that the amount of time spent by the soldiers in remand is enough punishment and ordered their release.

The ex-soldiers appealed against the decision by the court martial saying they faced defective charges at the military court.

They told the court the offences they were found guilty of are alleged to have been committed in 2007 yet the law they allegedly broke was enacted in 2012.

The accusation against them was that on diverse dates in 2007, they left the military and joined private American security firms which deployed them to war torn countries in the Middle East including Iraq, Syria and Jordan among others.