Harun Aydin william ruto uganda

Harun Aydin, the Turkish national who was to accompany DP William Ruto to Uganda.

| Courtesy

How DP Ruto man Harun Aydin was kicked out at night

The weekend-long controversy following the arrest and detention of Harun Aydin, the Turk in Deputy President William Ruto’s botched trip to Uganda, ended on Monday with his dramatic deportation to Istanbul.

Mr Aydin, who had been detained at the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) headquarters along Ngong Road in Nairobi since Saturday, was whisked by security agents to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 4am.

They handed him over to Immigration officials who rushed through the necessary processes, then moved him to a waiting aircraft.

He left on a scheduled Turkish Airlines Flight TK 608 that had to be delayed for 46 minutes for security and immigration officials to clear the paper work.

The flight, which was supposed to take off at 4.25am, eventually departed at 5.11am for the six-and-a-half-hour journey to Istanbul. It landed at 11.05am.

Mr Aydin’s lawyers and officials from the Turkish Embassy had at 9.30am gathered at the Kahawa Law Courts in Kiambu, which handles terrorism cases, where authorities had indicated on Sunday he would be arraigned.

Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi

Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi at the Kahawa Law Courts on August 9, 2021. He announced that his client Harun Aydin was deported to Turkey.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

Apparently, they were unaware that their client was already miles away on his way to Istanbul. Mr Aydin had been arrested on Saturday morning at Wilson Airport upon arrival from Uganda, where he had been since last Monday. The DP was barred from flying out over a ‘protocol hitch’.

Dr Ruto on Monday said he had apologised to Mr Aydin for his ordeal at the hands of State officials.

“Just talked and apologised on behalf of the government to Aydin, now in Turkey, who was politically arrested, tortured and falsely profiled as a terrorist but later asked to fly out not to shame those involved. Political pettiness is expensive/dangerous and will destroy our economy. Shame,” the DP posted on his Twitter handle.

Caught by surprise at the turn of events, lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi and Dr Ruto’s allies vowed to fight the deportation, which they said the government had resorted to after failing to prove Mr Aydin was involved in terrorism.

“As his lawyers, we will challenge the process to deport him because deportation is done according to a certain procedure and laws. Government cannot deport because someone is the DP’s friend. That is not an offence under our penal code,’’ said Mr Ahmednassir.

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi – who was in the DP’s delegation that was allowed to proceed to Uganda alongside the Turk – said Mr Aydin had been held with no communication either with his family or his lawyers.

The State, however, maintained its silence on the matter.

Information about Mr Aydin’s deportation came from the Turkish Embassy through a phone call “after everyone had waited for over an hour” for police to present him in court.

“We had heard from morning that he had been deported but we wanted to get a confirmation,” said Mr Sudi.

“As I said last week, if he is a terrorist, then I am also a terrorist. They have been taking us round in circles, but we know they had no charges at all against him. All these things are being motivated by politics,” the MP claimed.

The Nation understands Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i signed the deportation order on Sunday.

Security sources told the Nation that apart from his alleged links to terrorism, Mr Aydin was also being investigated for money laundering reportedly due to his suspicious trips into and out of Kenya. In two of the trips, there were no exit stamps on his passport.

Different names

The businessman runs a company known as Unit 2HA Investment Energy Africa Ltd. He was issued with a work permit by the Immigration department on June 30, which expires on June 29, 2023. A search we conducted on two Kenyan phone numbers listed on his permit, however, show that they are registered to two different people.

Questions linger as to why the State opted to deport him instead of charging him in court for his alleged crimes. Interestingly, none of the politicians and businessmen who accompanied Mr Aydin to Kampala last week has been arrested or questioned.

“When you arrest someone from the streets saying he has financed terrorism then fail to bring him to court, it shows how shameless you are. It’s unfortunate that this is how this government works,” protested Mr Ahmednassir.

“We will bring him back whether it is this year or next. We will ventilate his grievances through the courts,’’ he vowed.

Additional reporting by Simon Ciuri

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