Attorneys for two Akasha brothers charged in the US have questioned whether a United States court has the jurisdiction to put them on trial on drug-trafficking charges.
The defence lawyers told a New York court that the US may not have the right to prosecute the Akashas because they were expelled from Kenya a year ago rather than being formally extradited.
“I don't think citizens of Kenya can be (lawfully) expelled,” Christopher Cassar, an attorney for Baktash Akasha, told the US federal judge.
Mr Cassar made the remarks following a court hearing last month where he stated that his client had been “abducted” from Kenya.
He stated that the US had no standing to conduct the trial that was scheduled to begin in October.
Baktash and Ibrahim Akasha, along with Pakistani national Gulam Hussein and Indian national Vijay Giri Goswami, have been charged with conspiring to smuggle 98 kilogrammes of heroin into the US from Kenya.
The defence attorneys maintained that they wanted US prosecutors to produce an official Kenyan government order for the defendants' expulsion.
However, prosecutor Patrick Egan stated that he did not know whether a Kenyan expulsion order had been issued prior to the four men's deportation to the US in January of last year.
The Akasha brothers, along with Mr Hussein and Mr Goswami, were apprehended by Kenyan authorities in January of last year prior to a scheduled court hearing on the US extradition request.
US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officials then took custody of the four accused men and flew with them on a charter flight to New York.