NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 11 – Thirty-six Chinese and a Thai national arrested in Runda last week on suspicion of cyber crime have made a fresh application for release on bail.
The 37 through their lawyer Tom Wachakana filed a fresh appeal before the High Court on Thursday after the magistrate’s court denied them bail on Wednesday and Judge Luka Kimaru dismissed an earlier application on the grounds that it had been premature.
Wachakana had moved to the High Court on Monday, before his clients had taken their pleas.
Judge Kimaru has now certified Wachakana’s second application as urgent directing that he immediately serve the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The matter will now be heard on Monday before the judge on duty.
The 37 want the High Court to set aside Senior Principal Magistrate Lucy Mbugua’s decision to deny them bail arguing that it was unfounded.
“The offence which the applicants are charged with of operating a private radio broadcasting services without a license is bailable under the Constitution,” they’ve petitioned the High Court.
They further argue that they are not a flight risk given their travel documents are in the possession of the police.
“The applicants reside in Runda estate, Nairobi County within the Republic of Kenya,” the petition reads.
The applicants pleaded not true to the two counts of using radio communication apparatus without a license and providing telecommunications services without a license, on Wednesday.
Mbugua however denied them bail after Senior Prosecuting Counsel Duncan Ondimu informed her that the police were still awaiting reports from the communication authorities on the extent of the suspected criminal activities and might prefer, “more serious charges,” in future.
The suspects not being in possession of their travel documents, Ondimu argued, was not enough to stop them from taking advantage of Kenya’s porous borders.
Forty other Chinese nationals arrested in Runda together with the arraigned will take their pleas on Monday.