Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria before Nairobi Principal Magistrate Teresa Nyangena who dismissed Kuria’s application seeking to bar the Media from covering the proceedings on at Milimani law courts on Monday 20 July.2015
BY SAM ALFAN.
Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria has lost his bid to bar the Media from covering his incitement to violence case.
This is after Nairobi Principal Magistrate Teresa Nyangena dismissed Kuria’s application seeking to bar the Media from covering the proceedings.
“I decline to grant the orders sought and accordingly, the accused application is hereby dismissed” Magistrate ruled.
Senior Principal Magistrate Teresia Nyangena, said in her ruling that the MP had not demonstrated by away of an affidavit the injury caused by the press.
She ruled that the accused ought to file a formal application giving out all the facts showing how he has been tried and convicted by the media.
The court found and held that the accused stands innocent until proved guilty by the court after hearing evidence from the prosecution.
“Barring the media from covering court proceedings, where there is no proof vulnerability of witness, threat to national security, public order, morality or security of the accused is compromised, would be in breach of the very Article 50(8) of the constitution which the accused is relying on, since it depict that we are in an open, free and democratic society” said in her ruling.
The magistrate said that the court does not pick evidence from the press in order to convict a suspect, saying that the media can only be barred where there vulnerable witness.
The media, the court said operates under the law, saying that the matter before touches on public interest.
The trial court proceeded to give a date for the hearing of the application by the office of the DPP seeking cancellation of c a cash bail of Sh 2 million given to the accused on grounds that he has continued to utter words that amount hate speech and incitement to violence.
The application and the preliminary objection raised by Kuria will be argued on Friday 24.
The DPP through deputy director of public prosecution Dr Leonard Maingi,had told the court that the application has no basis as the subject matter of the criminal charge were made in public rally and the same cannot be heard in camera.
Dr Maingi said that the accused has not placed materials to show that the he has been tried and convicted by the media as raised by the defence lawyers.
” It’s upon the accuse to lay proper foundation why he wants the press excluded from covering his criminal trial” he said.
The court has not be shown the complaint against biased reporting by the press or specified which news paper or TV station that has wronged him.
Dr Maingi said that article 50 (d) of the constitution provide for public trial, saying his lawyers have actually applied to have the accused denied the right to a fair trial.
The philosophy under which the article is established is the increased public participation as provided for in the constitution.
Article 50.(1) of the constitution says-Every person has the right to have any dispute that can be resolved by the application of law decided in a fair and public hearing before a court or, if appropriate another independent and impartial tribunal or body.(d) to a public trial before a court establish under this constitution;(e)to have the trial begin and conclude without in reasonable delay;
He urged the court to dismiss the application and the matter proceeds to full hearing
Kuria his lawyer Danson Mungatana raised the application saying his client has been tried and convicted by the press.
He told that the accused has not enjoyed the freedom as provided in the constitution.
The embattled MP face a charge of making inflammatory statement touching on NYS projects
Kuria was granted bail on June 26 2014 on condition that he desist from repeating statements amounting to incitement to violence and ethic contempt pending the hearing of his case
Kuria has disobeyed the conditions issued to him by the court on June 26 2015 while addressing youth in his constituency directed the “slashing and finishing off” of politicians opposed to various National Youth service projects
Dr Maingi told the court that the MP’s conduct has amounted to incitement to violence contrary to section 96 of the Penal Code.
“We now seek that the bond granted to the accused on June 26 2014 be cancelled and the accused be remanded in custody pending the hearing and determination of the the criminal case
DPP has procured transcript of the offensive utterances in which the Mp allegedly calls for the killing of those opposed to NYS which are now attached to the court documents.
“The accused has in any event admitted in media interviews to having uttered the words complained of as evidenced in the has evidence’ the prosecutor said.
On November 26 2914 the court after rejecting a similar request for cancellation of bond had restrained the Mp from making statements that may be deemed to incite people to violence.
Former trial magistrate then magistrate Enock Cherono had warned the politician to desist from making further inflammatory statements after he allegedly posted a Tweet which the prosecution deemed was derogatory of the Luo community over circumcision.
He had earlier been charged with hate speech after he linked the Gikomba bomb blasts to a section of the Luo community.
“A transcript of a video recording obtained in the ongoing investigations confirms accused to have uttered words complained of herein,” Mr Maingi said
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