Why Akasha drugs suspect will follow compensation suit
As Mr Muhammad Hafeez Asif, the man the United States of America accuses of supplying drugs to the Akasha brothers fights his extradition from the United Kingdom to America, his lawyers will keenly follow a case coming up in the Kenyan courts on April 25 this year.
The case involves a Serbian, Mr Stojanovic Milan, who was prosecuted for the March 28, 2002 murder of Kamaldin Akasha, a son of drug baron Ibrahim Akasha, who, a court heard, was killed after a family feud over a multi-million-shilling hashish haul. Mr Milan was acquitted of the charges alongside his co-accused, Mr Jackson Waweru and Mr Ahmed Abdalla, and the three have sued the state, seeking Sh1 billion in compensation for wrongful prosecution.
The Akasha brothers; Baktash and Ibrahim, Bollywood star Mamta Kulkarni and Mr Ghulam Hussein, a Pakistani, and Mr Vijayghiri “Vicky” Goswami, an Indian, were arrested in 2017 by American agents who extradited them to the US over their involvement in drug trafficking. They are now imprisoned in the US. Twenty-one years ago today, Kamaldin was seated in his Land Rover Discovery as he checked one of the many businesses he owned in Mombasa County.
He was at Zamzam Petrol Station in Makupa. Behind him, a slender, white gunman dressed in a black T-shirt and a woolen hoodie sneaked up on him. When he got close enough to Kamaldin, he fired three times in quick succession.
Then he ran to the getaway car and fled the scene. Kamaldin died on the spot.
The manner in which he was killed caused a rift in the Akasha family and Nuri Akasha, alias Tinta, was blamed for being behind the murder.
Kamaldin’s killing followed the execution of his father, Ibrahim Akasha, who had been shot dead in Amsterdam, Netherlands, two years earlier. He died holding the hands of his Egyptian wife.
Amid efforts to seek justice for Kamaldin’s murder, Mr Milan, who was their neighbour, was dragged into the saga and found himself serving two years in jail after he was accused of being the man who pulled the trigger.
Court documents in our possession show that Mr Milan, Mr Waweru and Mr Abdalla were charged with the murder, but they were later acquitted.
The Nation has established that Mr Asif’s lawyers in the UK are planning to approach Mr Milan.
Mr Milan and Mr Waweru had initially listed, in their compensation case, the office of the Attorney-General, Senior Counsel John Khaminwa, Mr Hayat Akasha Ibrahim, Mr Baktash Akasha, Mr Nuri Akasha and policeman Boniface Ngatia Iregi as respondents.
However, following the jailing of Baktash and Ibrahim, they decided to drop the case against them and focused on the other four. In his statement, Mr Milan narrated how he was waylaid while travelling in a taxi from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi together with Mr Waweru.
That day in November 2004, he was heading to a popular hotel in the city centre when he was intercepted by Mr Nuri Akasha, who had for two years fought to clear his name after members of the family accused him of murdering Kamaldin due to their differences.
While in the hotel, they were joined by Ibrahim before police officers from Central Police Station in Nairobi arrested and locked them up.
Mr Milan said he was told that he was the main suspect in Kamaldin’s murder and the long fight for justice started.
He said he suffered losses, especially while he was remanded at the Industrial Area Prison.
"I lost a business deal worth $50,000 (Sh5 million) that my company in South Africa had struck. I had landed another deal to supply honey to Afghanistan worth $52,942 (Sh52.9 million) which I lost as well," he says.
When the matter comes up in court next month, Mr Milan and Mr Waweru, who through their lawyer Alfred Ndambiri, claim that it has taken long for them to get justice and compensation, hope for a settlement.
Nation has also established that Mr Milan’s legal team in Kenya had approached Mr Evans Monari, seeking his help in the case, and he had agreed to be enjoined as a witness. The lawyer, however, died in 2021.