By Lorna Abuga.
A Muslim cleric who was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for child sex tourism by a Nakuru court has filed for an appeal. Through his lawyer Lawrence Karanja, Ali Samoja who was convicted and sentenced by on July 6 this year says his life is in danger.
“My client is suffering from asthma and many a times he can not be able to access good medication in prison and as a result his health is deteriorating.”
The cleric was found guilty of participating in the trafficking of a 15 year old girl from Nakuru to Nairobi where she was defiled by a man with a Lebanese origin. The Lebanese Sayyid Muktadha, who was facing defilement charges, later fled the country after he was granted a bond by the court.
Samoja also argues that the decision to imprison him was made erroneously.
“The magistrate who convicted him erred in the law and in fact by holding that the offense of child sex tourism had been established whereas there was no such evidence and she also erred in the law by not evaluating the entire case but took the prosecution evidence in isolation,”
his Lawyer argued as he presented the appeal.
Samoja who is serving his sentence at the Naivasha Maximum prison wants the case considered as urgent.
According to the father of the minor in early July 2011 they handed over the girl to Samoja after he said that he would get her a sponsor in Nairobi who would take her to Lebanon for studies after the month of Ramadhan that year.
“When I asked him about the passport and visa required for my daughter to travel he assured me the sponsor would cater for that.”
“We gladly released our daughter to travel because we wanted her to get better education and as result secure a bright future.”
“a few days after my daughter left for Nairobi Samoja called me and told me that she could not travel because she had been declared as medically unfit.”
When she came back home he said, out of the trauma she had gone through, the girl attempted suicide. It was then that she disclosed what had happened.
He said when his daughter traveled to Nairobi, the Lebanese man had taken her to his house in Westlands and one day he came back home in the evening he tore her clothes and consequently defiled her, before she fled to a nearby mosque where she was assisted.
Part of the trauma the girl was going through he said was as a result of the mockery she faced from her fellow students and teachers for the failure to travel as had earlier been thought.
“Life lost meaning because the same people who had opened a leeway for me to be taken advantage of where now humiliating me and as a result I wanted to eliminate my life,” the minor had testified earlier.
The appeal will be heard on July 28.