A Kenyan father who was serving a life sentence after his daughter allegedly framed him for rape has been released.
Julius Wambua was freed on Wednesday after Machakos High Court Justice George Odunga quashed his conviction and ordered a retrial if the Director of Public Prosecutions finds it viable based on the amount of public interest the case has generated.
He was freed on a cash bail of Sh30,000 and an alternative bond of Sh200,000 with a surety of a similar amount pending retrial.
“The petitioner’s appeal has been considered and determined that he was accused by someone who was coached and wasn’t her own words, therefore justice must be rendered. Pw2 and Pw3 were coerced and threatened by their mother and police so as to implicate the accused over incest and coached on what to say in court. Justice didn’t happen at the time of trial since Pw2 was a minor and was under coercion by the mother” Justice Odunga noted.
In a story aired by a local TV station, the man’s daughters admitted they were coached and coerced by their mother and police to finger their father of defilement.
In 2012, Kithimani principal magistrate A.W. Mwangi sentenced Wambua to life in jail after finding him guilty of defilement.
Last year, Wambua’s daughter filed submissions at the Machakos High Court recanting her original testimonies, saying she framed her father under instructions from the mother.
This was the second petition to have Wambui released after an appeal against his sentencing was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in May 2019.
A three-judge bench made of judges William Ouko, Wanjiru Karanja, and Jamila Mohamed dismissed the appeal arguing that it was time-barred and that the court-set timelines for filing and producing evidence had already lapsed.
Wambua has been in prison for the past eight years.