NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 27 – Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria remains a free man after a Nairobi court on Monday declined to reverse an earlier decision releasing him on bond in a hate speech case.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) had sought to have his bond revoked on the grounds that he violated terms for his release agreed with the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) by continuing to post what they classified as hateful messages on social media.
The court however found that Kuria did not qualify as a flight risk given his regular attendance of court proceedings and adjudged that there was no reason for him to be kept in police custody.
Kuria is facing three counts of incitement to violence over Facebook posts and was released on a cash bail of Sh2 million by Chief Magistrate Doreen Mulekyo in June of 2014.
Kuria was charged after the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) wrote to DPP Keriako Tobiko demanding that action be taken against the legislator for posting messages which they said displayed and encouraged ethnic hatred.
Tobiko then directed that investigations be carried out and Kuria was later charged on the recommendation of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC).
Kuria however sought an out-of-court settlement with the NCIC under which it was agreed he proffer an apology for his postings and refrain from committing similar offences in future.
A deal that was later taken off the table by the NCIC after they alleged Kuria breached his side of the agreement by continuing to post hateful messages and recommended his continued prosecution.
Kuria has however denied breaching the reconciliation agreement reached with the NCIC and accused his enemies of plotting his downfall by opening social media accounts in his name and using them to post hateful messages.
“I now stand as the only social media exile in the world. Digitally speaking, I am already a prisoner of conscience. That is why I was dumb-founded and utterly shocked with your allegations that I breached the terms of reconciliation. I am certain that you were mis-directed or mis-advised in this case,” he wrote to NCIC Chairman Francis ole Kaparo in his defence.