NAIROBI, Kenya -- A military court Wednesday sentenced a 27-year-old air force technician to death for treason in plotting the overthrow of President Daniel Arap Moi.
Another military court sentenced five servicemen to jail terms for mutiny, bringing to 656 the total number of servicemen convicted of mutiny in the aborted military coup last August.
Cpl. Bramwell Njereman, accused of being a ringleader in the coup attempt, was silent when a five-member military court handed down the death sentence.
The sentence will be carried out if Njereman loses an appeal for clemency. Njereman, an armaments technician, was the first member of the air force to face a treason charge for his alleged role in the failed Aug. 1 coup attempt.
The court said he 'imagined, compassed, devised or intended, jointly with others not in court to overthrow by unlawful means the government of Kenya.'
The court said Njereman committed five 'overt' acts which showed he was guilty of treason.
On Aug. 1, the prosecution said, Njereman ordered rockets prepared for bombing targets in Nairobi, ordered the rockets loaded onto military aircraft, ordered or forced a pilot at gun-point to run a bombing mission in an F-5 trainer and issued arms to other men for use in the attempted coup.
Njereman also was accused of attending a July 17 briefing in which a senior private was to inform him of progress on recruiting other servicemen into the coup plotters' group.
In a statement in his defense, Njereman said he did not voluntarily join the failed coup, but 'took orders' from others