A magistrate has castigated the prosecution in a case in which fearless blogger, Cyprian Nyakundi, is charged in a Nairobi court with publishing obscene information on his twitter handle against CS Internal Security, Fred Matiang’i.
Nyakundi is no stranger to police-quasi-judicial procedures and complaints arising from his hard hitting blog-posts having run in with law enforcement and stung-smarting personas on numerous occasions.Milimani Principal magistrate Peter Ooko said he was constrained to give the prosecution a final adjournment in the matter after the complainant(Matiang’i) who is the key prosecution witness failed to turn up in court.
But what was more disturbing was the fact that to date Matian’gi has not recorded his statement and so far what the defence has are the statements of the investigating officer and the arresting officer.
This the magistrate concurred with Nyakundi’s lawyer “as an abuse of the court process.”
A prosecutor said Matiang’i was in Mt Elgon and asked the court to adjourn the case.
Nyakundi’s lawyer Nderu Ngaruni asked the court to dismiss the charge under Section 210 for “lack of evidence.”
She reminded the trial court that there has been already two mention dates in the case for confirmation of the hearing date which had been set for March 7 2018.
Magistrate Oloo said that if “the complainant was not interested in the case it can be withdrawn to save judicial workload.
” I concur with the defence that its absurd a charge was preferred even before the complaint recorded a statement…” magistrate Oloo said.
He said the case had been mentioned twice to confirm that statements were available and copies given to the defence.
“To me this is abuse of the court process and I condemn it,” Oloo scoffed.
He said he had given the police the last chance to pursue the case but in case “if the complainant is not interested the charges may be withdrawn.”
The magistrate wondered how charges had been pressed against Nyakundi without the complaint recording a statement.
“It is the complainant who must lay a foundation of the case beforehand…” Oloo lectured an investigating officer in criminal procedure 101.
The case has been adjourned to May 14 2018.
Nyakundi has pleaded “not guilty” and is out on a bond of KSh500,000 or a cash bail of Ksh100,000.
He is charged with publishing obscene information in his Twitter handle against the CS which we cannot reproduce here.
The prosecution alleges that on January 23,2018 at unknown place within Kenya, Nyakundi through his Twitter handle published defamatory information against the powerful CS Matiang’i.
Nyakundi’s Twitter handle is @C-nyakundiH.