, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 – Eight legislators facing hate speech and incitement charges pleaded not guilty Friday morning after being arraigned before the Nairobi Chief Magistrate’s Court with their lawyers asking that they be released on bail.
The precincts of the Milimani Law courts was a no-go zone as heavily armed policemen and GSU officers cordoned off the area while the case which has received a lot of public interest proceeded.
- Those facing charges are CORD MPs Florence Mutua, Aisha Jumwa, Junet Mohammed, Timothy Bosire Senator Johnson Muthama
- Others are Jubilee lawmakers Moses Kuria, Ferdinand Waititu and Kimani Ngunjiri who were represented by separate lawyers
- The lawmakers were set to know the fate of their application to be released on bail later Friday when the Chief Magistrate delivers the ruling on the matter at 4pm
Appearing before Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo, the defence lawyers led by Siaya Senator James Orengo declared that the rights of their clients were being abused by being denied bail.
“We have not yet had a trial and the prosecution cannot purport that our clients are guilty. They have not been tried yet and being granted bail is part of their rights,” he contended.
While citing previous cases, Orengo indicated that accused individuals facing more serious allegations have been granted bail.
He argued that bail is a constitutional right and however serious the charge a person has been accused of, he has a right to that provision of law.
“A person appearing in court on any charge is presumed to be innocent until proven otherwise. The accused took themselves to the CID headquarters voluntarily and the prosecution’s claim that they will interfere with the witnesses is unfounded,” he stated.
His sentiments were echoed by his co-counsel Okong’o Omogeni who stated that the prosecution had no evidence that they interfered with the witnesses or the proceedings.
Omogeni further pointed out that there was no affidavit giving compelling reasons why the accused should not be granted bail.
Those facing charges are CORD MPs Florence Mutua, Aisha Jumwa, Junet Mohammed, Timothy Bosire Senator Johnson Muthama.
Others are Jubilee lawmakers Moses Kuria, Ferdinand Waititu and Kimani Ngunjiri who were represented by separate lawyers.
Lawyer John Khaminwa brought the court’s attention to the deplorable conditions they had been subjected to while in custody.
He stated that they should be granted bail and not be subjected to such inhumane treatment since they were representatives of the Kenyan people.
State lawyer Leonard Maingi however opposed the bail applications saying that the eight would repeat the same offences they were charged with, if the court granted them bail.
“The court must strike a balance between the right to bail and public interest and in so doing should deny the accused bail for the duration of the trial,” he stated.