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MP Kuria wants media barred from hate speech case

The MP who appeared before Milimani Resident Magistrate Teresia Nyangena could end up in jail after the Director of Public Prosecutions applied to have his bail cancelled/FILE

The MP who appeared before Milimani Resident Magistrate Teresia Nyangena could end up in jail after the Director of Public Prosecutions applied to have his bail cancelled/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 16 – Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria wants the media barred from his hate speech trial over alleged bias.

His lawyer Danson Mungatana claims that Kuria has been tried and condemned by the media over alleged hate speech.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko has however opposed the application to exclude the media from the criminal trial.

The DPP through Leonard Maingi told the court that the application has no basis as the subject matter of the criminal charge was made in a public rally and the same cannot be heard in-camera.

Maingi told Principal Magistrate Teresia Nyangena that the accused has not proven that he has been tried and convicted by the media as claimed by his lawyer.

“It’s upon the accused to lay proper foundation why he wants the press excluded from covering his criminal trial,” he said.

He argued that the court was not shown the complaint against biased reporting by the press or specified which newspaper or TV station wronged him.

Maingi said that article 50 (d) of the Constitution provides for public trial, saying his lawyer has actually applied to have the accused denied the right to a fair trial.

The embattled MP is accused of making inflammatory statement touching on NYS projects despite facing a previous hate speech charge.

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Kuria was granted bail on condition that he desists from repeating statements amounting to incitement to violence and ethnic contempt, pending the hearing of his case.

Kuria is accused of disobeying the bail conditions while addressing youths in his constituency when he directed them to “slash and kill” politicians opposed to various National Youth Service projects.

“We now seek that the bond granted to the accused be cancelled and the accused be remanded in custody pending the hearing and determination of the criminal case,” the DPP argued.

Kuria walked out of a live interview on Citizen TV on Tuesday night after the clip where he incited the youths was re-played.

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