HC Deb 05 April 1955 vol 539 cc83-4W
Mr. Paget

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) if he is aware of the criticism of the African Court at Karatina by the Supreme Court at Nyeri; what is the jurisdiction of this court; what is the maximum sentence awarded; and how many are still undergoing punishment as a result of its judgments; and

(2) the number of cases in which the prosecution had relied on statements by accused persons obtained by Muriu Wamai, head man of Ruthagati Post; and how many of these cases resulted in sentences of death.

Mr. Strachey

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will put a transcript of the evidence and judgment in Regina versus Muriu Wamai and others in the Supreme Court at Nyeri in the Library.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

, pursuant to his reply [OFFICIAL REPORT, 15th December, 1954; Vol. 535, c. 140] supplied the following information

Apart from its appellate jurisdiction, the African Appeal Court at Nyeri has jurisdiction as a court of first instance to try a wide range of criminal cases as may from time to time be specified under the provisions of the African Courts Ordinance. Its jurisdiction cannot extend to cases involving the penalty of death or life imprisonment. It may pass sentences of imprisonment for any term not exceeding 12 months and/or impose a fine of any sum not exceeding £500. The approximate number of persons still undergoing punishment as a result of its judgments is 1,200.

I have asked the Governor to institute a search of court records to establish the number of convictions resulting from statements obtained by Muriu Wamai. I will circulate this information in the