Tobiko prepares to appeal ‘strange’ acquittal of Waititu, Kuria despite damning video

February 20, 2017 4:32 pm
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The DPP said the ruling sets a bad precedent for the ongoing hate speech cases/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 20 — Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko on Monday said he would be appealing what he termed as the ‘strange’ acquittal of MPs Moses Kuria and Ferdinand Waititu.

The DPP said the ruling sets a bad precedent for the ongoing hate speech cases.

He says the video clip that had been used as evidence was obtained from media houses and authenticated by the Communication Authority of Kenya.

“Rulings must be in tandem with technology advancements,” the DPP asserted. “The magistrate cannot term doubtful the credibility of the video footage presented in court as evidence.”

In her ruling, however, Nairobi magistrate Charity Oluoch concluded that the video content of the evidence adduced in court could have been altered or edited.

Kuria and Waititu, who were among the famous Pangani 6, were accused of uttering words tantamount to bringing death to Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga at an event in Kasarani last year.

They had denied committing the charges at Kasarani during Njogu wa Njoroge’s thanksgiving service.

“I find the ruling strange,” Tobiko stated.

READ: MPs Moses Kuria and Waititu acquitted of hate speech charges

Kuria and Waititu were facing incitement to violence charges, having been arrested alongside four other MPs in what was commonly referred as the Pangani Six when they were arrested and detained in June last year.

Other leaders arrested with them at the time were Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama, Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, Timothy Bosire of Kitutu Masaba, Kimani Ngunjiri of Bahati and Women’s representatives Aisha Jumwa and Florence Mutua of Kilifi and Busia respectively.

The other legislators are yet to know their fate.

Previous cases of hate speech have suffered the same fate for a lack of or weak evidence.

On January 27, a Nairobi court dropped hate speech charges against Kiambu Governor William Kabogo for lack of evidence.

Governor Kabogo was taken to court for allegedly making disparaging remarks against Opposition leader Odinga.

READ: Court drops hate speech case against Kabogo ‘for lack of evidence’

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