Walter Menya a journalist is in the dock at a Milimani court. The police appllied to be given more days to complete investigation.He is accused of demanding 50,000 from Kiprotich Koros. 19/6/2017 GEORGE NJUNGE
Nation Media Group journalist Walter Menya was released unconditionally after spending two days in police cells as detectives failed to provide evidence about the progress of their investigations.
Magistrate Martha Mutuku however ordered Mr Menya to appear in court in a week’s time.
“He should be released unconditionally. They cannot hold him without charges,” said Ms Mutuku.
She did not make any orders for the release of his personal effects being held by police.
The magistrate made the ruling after Menya’s lawyer opposed an application by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to release him on a personal bond.
Senior Assistant DPP Daniel Karuri told the court that he had been directed by the DPP to inform the court that Menya should be released on a personal bond to allow the police to conclude investigations.
Mr Karuri said this was because the investigations were incomplete and the respondent was not a flight risk.
“Once the investigations are complete, the file should be forwarded to the DPP for further directions but the respondent should not be charged at this point,” said Karuri.
Menya’s lawyers – James Orengo, Nelson Havi, and Apollo Mboya – opposed the DPP’s application to release Menya on a personal bond on the grounds that there was still no charge, further affidavit or evidence against him.
Mr Orengo told the court that, the prosecution was not even sure whether to charge Menya or not and the DPP had power to undertake prosecution and was yet to make a decision whether to charge him or not.
“If the DPP does not even hold a charge, why should he be released on personal bond?” asked Orengo. He added that if the DPP’s application was allowed, the court would appear to be supervising an investigation.
He added that there was no basis for keeping Menya behind bars and prayed that the application by the State would be dismissed and that the court would order the respondent’s release.
Mr Havi told the court that the police handled Menya well and did not harass him.
“The police have not made any progress in investigations and by evening, a video was in circulation of what Menya allegedly did,” added Havi.
He said Karuri failed to indicate what he wanted to do with the miscellaneous application and wanted all the items taken from the respondent, including phones, clothes and a tablet, returned to him.
Karuri on the other hand said the respondent’s items were being held to enable police to complete investigations.
Menya was arrested on Sunday, reportedly over a story linking top civil servants to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election bid.
The Sunday Nation writer was picked up from a city restaurant and taken to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters before being sneaked to an undisclosed location.
Police said he solicited a bribe to write a damaging story.
Menya sent a message to one of his colleagues saying he had been arrested over the story mentioning civil servants actively involved in Friends of Jubilee Foundation.
He is said to have met a man in a restaurant about the story when he was picked up by undercover police officers.
Earlier, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet had said Menya was arrested in the city centre while receiving a bribe.