Foreigner who flew drone over DP Ruto’s home yet to take plea

Piotr Lukasz Litwiniuk
Piotr Lukasz Litwiniuk, the foreigner who flew a drone into the private residence of DP William Ruto, in court on April 1, 2021. PHOTO | DZUYA WALTER

A foreigner who flew a drone into the private residence of Deputy President William Ruto is yet to take plea.

Also Read: You risk 12 months in prison if you fly drones, Gov’t warns

This after the lawyer representing Piotr Lukasz Litwiniuk, a Polish tourist, sought to have the charges dropped.

“We would like the court to defer the plea to next week Wednesday. There are discussions going on and we are sure that the charges will be dropped ,” the court heard.

The court obliged with the plea from the defense and directed that the suspect deposit his traveling document.

Litwiniuk was also given an alternative of depositing a bond of Ksh. 200,000, the Daily Nation reported.

The prosecution had pressed at least four charges relating to importation and operation of an unmanned aircraft system without a permit and authorisation from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).

He is also to be charged with operating unmanned aircraft system without a pilot license and failure to register the drone with the KCAA.

“An owner or an operator of a drone should not use it to conduct surveillance or take images of a person without that person’s written consent. This is to protect privacy of persons and property and nuisance,” the law states.

A person found guilty of going against this law faces jail term of not more than 12 months or a fine not exceeding Ksh. 100,000 or both.

Unmanned State aircrafts, drones owned and operated by the government are however not affected by these regulations.

Foreigners are allowed to lease drones locally through a 30-day temporary permit that costs Ksh. 20,000.

Early this year, new regulations were gazetted under the Civil Aviation (Regulatory Fees and Charges for Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Regulations, 2020.

The new law which was passed by the National Assembly in March 6, 2021 states that KCAA will charge Kenyans and entities wishing to own and operate drones a Ksh.3,000 registration fee.

“Innovation in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) has been accelerating at such an exponential rate. The capabilities of this technology are limitless – from the positives such as filming movies, documentaries, sports, weddings and delivering medicines,” KCAA director-general Gilbert Kibe said.



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Story By Dzuya Walter
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