Matiang’i, Boinnet convicted for defying Miguna release orders


Matiang'i, Boinnet convicted for defying Miguna release orders
Justice Odunga makes ruling on Miguna Miguna case on March 28. 2018

In Summary

  • Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Mating'i and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet have been convicted for contempt of court and are set to be sentenced on Thursday.
  • Justice Odunga therefore ruled that the three senior government officials appear in court on Thursday at 10am for their sentencing.
  • Contempt of court attracts a penalty of six months in jail.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Mating’i, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and Principal Secretary of Immigration Gordon Kihalangwa have been convicted for contempt of court and are set to be sentenced on Thursday.

High Court judge George Odunga on Wednesday ruled that the three were guilty for contempt of several court orders in regard to the detention of besieged lawyer Miguna Miguna.

Justice Odunga therefore ruled that the three senior government officials appear in court on Thursday at 10am for their sentencing.

“If the respondents will not appear in person before me tomorrow, I will proceed to sentence them in their absence,”ruled Odunga.

He further ordered, for the second time, that Miguna, who is detained at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport be released unconditionally, failure to which the court will not grant the respondents audience.

Contempt of court attracts a penalty of at least six months in jail.

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Judge Odunga had ordered the three government officials to appear in court on Wednesday 2.30pm together with Miguna. They were a no-show, with their lawyer telling the court that they were attending the GSU pass-out parade.

“This court gave the three officers an opportunity to defend themselves by directing them to appear in court but they decided to go into hiding instead,” said Justice Odunga.

“Court orders must be respected and obeyed whether one agrees with them or not. This court must not make orders in vain otherwise it will be subject to ridicule.”

In his submissions, State counsel Charles Mutinda had told the court that Mr. Miguna cannot exit the airport without processing, an argument Justice Odunga rejected.

“What is so difficult with bringing the petitioner here and asking the court to allow you to process what else you want. This court has the power to order that you hold the petitioner longer and even if you want to have him deported this court can grant that if so convinced,” Justice Odunga said.

On Tuesday,  Justice Roselyn Aburili ordered for the immediate release of Mr. Miguna from police custody at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport but this was not to be.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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