How US Govt Intervened for Kenyan Serving 11-Year Jail Term

Judith Akinyi narrates her experience inside Lang'ata Women's prison.
Judith Akinyi narrates her experience inside Lang'ata Women's prison.
Shared Moments with Justus

Life inside prison walls tests your mettle both physically and mentally. In the case of Judith Akinyi, her hopes were shattered after she was sentenced to eleven years in Lang'ata Women's prison.

However, after serving five years, the United States government intervened and she was granted a Presidential pardon. 

Akinyi, while speaking on a vlog dubbed Shared Moments with Justus, recalled that her encounter with the law began when she struck a business deal with her friend.

Little did she know that she would be treated unfairly and left to wallow in sorrow and anguish. 

A prison perimeter wall
A prison perimeter wall

"My friend requested me to secure a loan so that we could invest in the gemstone business. She promised me that the perceived lucrative business would make a fortune," Akinyi noted. 

Determined to get out of poverty, Akinyi ignored the red flags and delved deep into the business. At the time, she discovered that the gemstone business was a coverup for drug trafficking deals. 

Now aware of the risk, Akinyi resolved not to pull out of the venture as she was afraid of the repercussions she would face. Akinyi claimed that her friend was one of the top drug barons in the country. 

After conducting business for a while, a particular trip to Pakistan altered her life. 

"At the time my contact person in Pakistan delayed the process, which would normally take days, to three months. It was such a petrifying time since I did not want to get caught. Further, the contact person had confiscated my personal items such as phone, air ticket, passport, Identification Card, so I couldn't leave the country."

"After the deal was done, my personal items were returned and I flew back to Kenya. Upon landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), I was arrested."

Akinyi turned into a state witness in exchange for her freedom. Much to her dismay, her written confession was produced as evidence in court and she was sentenced to eleven years at Lang'ata Women's prison. 

The ordeal was terrifying as Akinyi faced numerous tribulations while serving her term. 

"Those days, the wardens who were so harsh would thrash and whip you with canes if you defied them. Most of the time, you could hear screams of prisoners being whipped mercilessly by the guards until it became the norm," she entailed. 

After serving four years, she was surprised to see the lady who introduced her to the drug trafficking business, arrested and detained at the same prison.

Apparently, she had been caught in the USA and deported back to the country. She, however, sought to be expedited to the US.

"After the US Government granted her request, she was flown to America. The prosecutors requested me to become a State witness which I agreed to."

"My papers were organised in a hurry and I followed her to the United States. It was intriguing since I was escorted by two wardens from Kenya and two U.S marshals. Upon arrival, I was handcuffed and detained at Arlington county jail in Virginia, " she detailed  

While in the US, the business lady was found guilty and sentenced to 24 years. 

"So, I came back to Lang'ata Women's prison but the American government sought my release after I provided sufficient evidence in the case. It took a whole year for the entire process to be concluded but I was finally released after serving a five-year term," Akinyi narrated. 

Prison wardens at work
A photo of Prison wardens at work in Kenya
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