Mwangura fails to raise bail

October 7, 2008 12:00 am

, MOMBASA, October 7- A Maritime official who was arrested last Wednesday for allegedly issuing alarming statements over the hijacked Ukrainian vessel was Tuesday released on a cash bail of Sh200, 000.

Andrew Mwangura’s family was however unable to raise a surety of the amount only managing Sh50, 000, and creating a situation that could cause him to spend another day at Shimo La Tewa prison.

Mr Mwangura, who is the programme coordinator of the Seafarers Assistance Programme, had spent five days in custody at Mombasa Central Police Station at the request of police who required more time to investigate him.

He was charged on Friday last week with publishing alarming information regarding the hijacked Ukrainian vessel, MV Faina which is still under pirate control in the Indian Ocean along the Somali coastline. Mwangura, also faces a charge of being in possession of four rolls of bhang with a street value of Sh200. The seafarers’ official also indicated that he would petition the court to refer his case to the constitutional court.

Through his lawyer Francis Kadima, he claimed that police violated his constitutional rights by detaining him illegally at the Central Police station.

“The provisions of Section 205 Sub Section 2 (a) of the criminal procedure code and the rights of the accused in Section 77 have been infringed,” said Mr Kadima.

“I need more time to peruse the file and especially the previous proceedings before I make a ruling,” said Mombasa Principal Magistrate Teresia Mwangi.

On Monday, the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations met ahead of Parliament’s re-opening on Tuesday to discuss the controversy surrounding the Ukrainian ship.

Committee Member Ali Hassan Joho told Capital News that they were planning to take the issue to the floor of the House when the final session this year gets underway.

He said the committee would investigate Kenya’s involvement and if it owned any of the military hardware aboard the hijacked ship in Somalia.

“We are waiting for the House to open so that we can establish on behalf of Kenyans the truth of the whole issues, and what preparations can be put in place in terms of legislation and what can be done to ensure such things do not happen again,” he said.


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