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Court bans live TV coverage of Kitany-Linturi divorce case as witnesses cite threats

Kitany (left), in her re-examination by her lawyer Danstan Omari, said indeed some witnesses from Meru whom she linen up to testify had expressed fear after being reportedly threatened by Linturi (right)/CFM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 4 – A Nairobi court has declared a ban on live transmission of proceedings in a divorce case between Marianne Kitany, a former staffer in the Office of the Deputy President, and Meru Senator Mithika Linturi.

Trial Magistrate Peter Gisora gave the directions following consent by parties to the suit.

Reporters will, however, be allowed to cover the proceedings as some 16 witnesses take to the stand in subsequent days to testify in the case.

Kitany, in her re-examination by her lawyer Danstan Omari, said indeed some witnesses from Meru whom she linen up to testify had expressed fear after being reportedly threatened by Linturi.

She said the lawmaker was out to intimidate the witnesses so that they do not give their testimony in court.

Kitany has adduced evidence in court in defense of her claims that she was indeed married to the senator who she now wants to divorce over fraud.

According to Kitany, Linturi illegally used her land titles to secure loans from local banks.

She also told the court that she had invested immensely in her marriage to Linturi including on a new home in the senator’s rural home in Meru.

The court resumed Wednesday following a brief recess on Tuesday after Kitany pleaded with the court to adjourn until Friday saying she could not continue with her testimony following the demise of her late father-in-law, Mzee Linturi.

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Senator Linturi’s lawyers had raised objection to the application saying they were ready to proceed with the case.

One of the lawyers said “lies” told by Kitany during her cross-examination could have caused Mzee Linturi shock resulting to his death.

Linturi’s defense particularly noted Kitany’s statement that she built a house for Senator Linturi in Meru as unfortunate, terming the claims “outright lies.”

They said being a member of the revered Njuri Ncheke – the supreme governing council of elders for the Meru people – Mzee Linturi may have been embarrassed to learn that a woman had built his son a house.

Kitany concluded her cross-examination on Wednesday with the court adjourning to September 24.

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