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(2017) JELR 102850 (CA)

Court of Appeal  •  Criminal Appeal 133 of 2016  •  17 Feb 2017  •  Kenya

Alnashir Ramazanali Magan Visram, Erastus Mwaniki Githinji, Martha Karambu Koome



1. The appellant has brought this second appeal which is anchored on the sole ground that the trial was conducted in a language that he did not understand, rendering the trial a nullity. The former Constitution, which was applicable to this case, states at section 77 (2) (b) and (f):

"77 (2) Every person who is charged with a crime and or offence-

a) Shall be informed as soon as reasonably practicable in a language that he understands and in detail of the nature of the offence with which, he is charged.

f) Shall be permitted to have without payment the assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand the language used at the trial of the charge.”

On the same issue, section 198 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code provides thus:-

"Whenever any evidence is given in a language not understood by the accused, and he is present in person, it should be interpreted to him in open Court in a language which he understands."

2. It is therefore imperative not only for the char…

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