DPP to appeal Kuria, Waititu acquittal

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria shakes hands with CORD leader Raila Odinga in court. [Photo/Courtesy]

The Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko now intends to appeal the acquittal of MPs Moses Kuria and Ferdinand Waititu.

In a letter addressed to the Chief Executive Milimani Court, the DPP through state counsel Duncan Ondimu, has applied be provided with certified copies of proceedings and ruling to enable the prosecution to pursue the remedies provided under the law.

“The prosecution is aggrieved and dissatisfied by the trial court ruling and intends to appeal the said orders at the High Court,” read the letter in part.

Earlier today Principal magistrate Charity Oluoch acquitted the two under Article 210 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The magistrate ruled that the prosecution failed to make out a prima facie case against the two legislators.

Mr Kuria and Mr Waititu had pleaded not guilty to hate speech and incitement to violence charges.

The two were accused of inciting members of the public to violence on June 12, 2016 at Kasarani during a thanksgiving service for Mr Njogu wa Njoroge.

Mr Kuria and Mr Waititu had been accused of threatening to have opposition leader Raila Odinga killed, an act that could have breached peace in the country.

Senior Principal Magistrate Charity Oluoch said that the key prosecution witness, a police officer who was at Kasarani at the time of the said utterance, in his testimony distanced himself from the speakers of the words.

He told the court that as much as he heard the words uttered; he didn’t know the speakers since he could not see them as he was manning a big crowd.

Another witness, the translator who interpreted the words from Kikuyu to English, was found to be missing a transcript and certificate that qualifies him as a translator, thus the translation could have been wrong.

The magistrate reiterated that the prosecution did not prove that it has an arguable case hence the acquittal.

The two Jubilee legislators had been arrested and detained at Pangani Police Station along with four others for four days in June 2016 and later charged with hate speech.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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