Case Digest

State Opposes Miguna’s Case Against Airlines

Lawyer Miguna Miguna

The Kenyan government through State counsel Emmanuel Bitta of the Attorney General’s office has asked the court to dismiss a case filed by exiled lawyer Miguna Miguna suing two international airlines — Lufthansa Group (German Airlines) and Air France.

In the case, Miguna is seeking orders restraining ‘any aircraft or airborne vessel affiliated with the two airlines from landing at any airport or airstrip in Kenya, except for the purpose of facilitating his transportation back to the country”.

The AG says that the court has no extra-territorial jurisdiction to adjudicate on matters outside the territory of Kenya as defined under Article 5 of the constitution, adding that it lacks jurisdiction to issue prerogative orders against private parties.

“The petition is premised on hearsay statements by a party other than the named petitioner which in and off itself constitutes in admissible evidence as it doesn’t fit within the exceptions provided under section 33 of the Evidence Act of Kenya,” reads the responses.

State counsel Bitta further says that the court has no jurisdiction to grant or suspend landing rights to international airlines in Kenya as that is within the constitution purview of the executive under the doctrine of separation of powers.

In his petition, Miguna claimed that the two airlines have “willingly, and with great alacrity and glee, allowed to be recruited as agents of impunity and oppression by the Attorney-General and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs to contravene the Kenya Constitution, Kenya law, the laws of the European Union and international laws including the international aviation law and the human rights law.”

He filed the case after the two airlines declined to allow him board their planes during his last attempt to return to Kenya in January this year.

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