Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kenya pays US$500,000 for Jamaica cleric al-Faisal's deportation

    “I’m travelling for two days and you want me to give you an interview?” he asked, as he was being whisked away by a fellow Muslim who was at the airport to receive him.

    “It was a very good flight, it was a private jet. I am very happy to be back home,” al-Faisal added.

THE Kenyan Government spent the equivalent of US$500,000 to deport controversial Jamaican-born Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal last week, that country's Daily Nation newspaper has reported.

The radical Muslim, who left the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on a chartered jet, arrived in Kingston, Jamaica last Friday following an almost two-day journey.

The Kenyan Government had to hire a private jet to fly him to Jamaica after airlines declined to transport him and various other countries denied him access.

The Jamaica police said he had not broken any law in the here so there was no need to put him in custody, but said he would monitored by the constabulary.

In the meantime, Kenya has suspended two immigration officers who allegedly cleared the radical Muslim preacher to enter that country, Immigration and Registration of Persons Minister Otieno Kajwang' said Monday.

The minister, who defended the expenditure to deport al-Faisal, said: "It is the responsibility of the State to ship back the likes of al-Faisal and this was necessitated by the fact that some deportees turn violent. This makes commercial airlines uncomfortable with such travellers," said Kajwang'.

Sheikh al Faisal's arrest and subsequent deportation triggered fatal demonstrations by Muslim youths in Nairobi just before his deportation.

Sheikh al Faisal entered Kenya on December 24, last year, from Tanzania through the Lunga Lunga border point. He had been to Nigeria, Angola, Mozambique, Swaziland and Malawi, according to the Daily Nation.

He had served four years in a United Kingdom prison after being convicted of calling for the murder of Jews and Hindus.

The Daily Nation said Kajwang' described the suspension of the two immigration officer as a lenient measure, considering the impact and shame it caused the country.

"Those are administrative matters but, honestly speaking, I can't defend such officers for either being careless or compromised. Common sense could have led them to ask why a Jamaican was entering Kenya by road, not sea or air," he said.

The minister said the suspension may not be the end of the story since serious investigations had been launched.

Kenya pays US$500,000 for al-Faisal's deportation -

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