NAIROBI, KENYA – This week, Dominic was released from prison after languishing there for 8 months. He had been charged with Robbery with Violence and incarcerated, despite the fact that not a single witness ever stepped forward to substantiate the charges against him.
Last year, a robbery occurred at the construction site where Dominic worked. Three weeks later, he was arrested. The fact that he had showed up for work every day since the robbery should have raised a flag that the charges were false, but Dominic was simply sent to prison to wait for a trial. It did not matter that there was no probable cause. No eyewitnesses ever stepped forward, but Dominic was forced to remain in prison.
When IJM Kenya staff met Dominic, they quickly realized he was an innocent man detained for a crime he had not committed. One of IJM's lawyers, James Kironji, describes Dominic as an "easy-going, honest man." Kironji represented Dominic at the next hearing scheduled for March, but the court again adjourned the case – despite the fact that no witnesses showed up to testify against Dominic.
On May 21, 2012, IJM's Kironji returned with Dominic to the court. Kironji urged the magistrate to dismiss the charges in light of the obvious lack of evidence. The prosecution opted to withdraw the charges. When Dominic heard the charges were finally dropped, he raised his hand in the air to signify triumph. His name cleared, he walked out of the court a free man and was reunited with his sister.