Muthama charged afresh with hate speech, incitement

Former Machakos Senator Johnston Muthama was charged afresh with hate speech and incitement to violence after a case terminated by the High Court was reinstated.

Mr Muthama was charged before Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku at the Milimani Law Courts on Friday.

The case was revived by Lady Justice Grace Ngenye Macharia after a successful appeal by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko.

The DPP had challenged the release of the politician by former chief magistrate Mr Daniel Ogembo, who has since been promoted to a judge of the High Court.

TERMINATED

“Muthama shall appear before the chief magistrate court on October 6, 2017 ( Friday) for purpose of pleading afresh and fixing of a hearing date in the criminal case, which had been terminated,” directed Justice Macharia.

In her ruling, the judge said she is not persuaded that the DPP abused his powers in charging Mr Muthama.

“I find the application by (the) DPP meritorious and the same succeeds. I set aside the orders of the lower court issued on July 28, 2016 dismissing the charge against Muthama. I substitute it with an order that the charge sheet filed by the prosecution before Milimani Chief Magistrate Court be reinstated,” said the judge.

Mr Muthama was accused of making hate speech remarks at a press conference on June 13, 2016 at Capitol Hill in Nairobi County.

DETAINED

The prosecution alleged that he made remarks to the effect that he would create chaos and forcibly storm the Inspector General of Police’s office if “certain people” were not arrested.

The case against Mr Muthama was terminated on July 28, 2016.

He had said the case is an abuse of the court process because the former senator had been arrested and detained for four days alongside five other lawmakers at Pangani police station and later charged with an offence committed in 2015, while his co-accused were charged for comments made in 2016.

He was charged alongside Mr Muthama are MPs Junet Mohamed (Suna East), Timothy Bosire (Kitutu Masaba), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), and Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati).

Others are Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu (former Kabete MP), Busia Woman Representative Florence Mutua and Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa.

ARREST

When dismissing the case against Mr Muthama in 2016, Justice Ogembo said the charges were not justifiable because the date of arrest and that of the offence being committed were wrong and the prosecution could not account for the chronology of events before he was charged.

But Justice Macharia said even though Muthama was in custody for four days for an offence that occurred June 11, 2016 and he was instead charged with an offence that occurred in 2015, it is not a conclusive pointer to an intention to abuse the process of the court.

Mr Muthama was released after executing a personal bond of Sh500,000.

The case will be mentioned in a fortnight for further directions.

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