Kenya: Deported Italians can return to Kenya, the court said

The Kenyan authorities lost their offer to prevent an Italian national from entering Kenya after he was denied entry last year for allegedly committed sexual offenses against minors.

Alberto Marchesi, who landed in Kenya on October 29 but was denied entry by airport officials, has been marked as an unwanted immigrant.

After his deportation, he sued the government for illegally denying him entry. He sued the Immigration Service, Cabinet Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i, his tourism counterpart Najib Balala, and Attorney General Kariuki Kihara.

Mr Marchesi submitted the case through the Human Rights and Justice Commission, where he found the sexual exploitation allegations against him to be unfounded and without evidence.

He argued through the lobby’s executive director Julius Ogogoh that in the 25 years of his visit to Kenya he had started a company in the country.

“Sometimes in 2007 I started importing Italian food to Kenya, among other things,” Marchesi said in an affidavit.

He also said he was in the country to deliver essential medication to his sick uncle Italo Ceccagnoti, who has been ill for three years and is on medication after suffering a stroke in 2017.

Mr. Ceccagnoti owns several properties in Bamburi and has lived in Mombasa for almost 25 years. He bequeathed his fortune worth several million shillings to Mr. Marchesi in a will dated September 30, 2020, which will take effect upon his death.

Marchesi said he suspected that this will led to his arbitrary arrest and deportation.

Intelligence reports

But Kenya said it had gathered damning information against him and presented its allegations in a report that was only for the eyes of the court.

“As a result, his name has been put on a watch list under Section 33 (1) (b) of the law,” immigration officer Kipkoech Sang said in a court affidavit.

Mr Sang said his alleged sexual crimes were the reason the foreigner was refused entry and deported to Italy. According to legal proceedings, the Immigration Service received the information on October 13, 2020, about two weeks before Mr Marchesi landed in the country.

Mr. Sang alleged that Mr. Marchesi did not have a residence or work permit that would allow him to do business in Kenya. He stated that if the foreigner was importing goods into the country as he claims, he was doing so in contravention of the Kenyan Citizenship and Immigration Act of 2010.

Entry allowed

However, the court ruled Monday that the Italian is not a banned immigrant and is allowed to enter Kenya under the terms of the visa issued.

Judge Eric Ogola also ordered that all criminal charges against Alberto Marchesi be investigated upon entry and that action be taken based on the results of the investigation.

The court was told that Mr Marchesi had allegedly abused the country’s hospitality through criminal activities.

“The criminal charges brought against Alberto Marchesi should be investigated and appropriate action taken based on the results of the investigation,” said Judge Ogola at the Mombasa High Court.

The court also ruled that the Cabinet Minister for Home Affairs is free to declare a person inadmissible or prohibited under Kenyan law, but noted that this discretion must be exercised wisely.

“Even a foreigner who comes to Kenya has constitutional rights. It is unfortunate that such a foreigner is unilaterally declared a banned person without due process,” said Judge Ogola.


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