Man in court for posting photos of ‘dead’ KDF soldiers on WhatsApp group

Tuesday January 19 2016

By ERIC WAINAINA
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A man has been charged in a Kiambu court with posting on social media pictures allegedly showing the bodies of Kenya Defence Forces soldiers who were attacked and killed in Friday’s attack by Al-Shabaab militants in El-Adde, Somalia.

When he appeared before Kiambu Principal Magistrate Justus Kituku, Mr Eddy Reuben Illah denied sharing the images with a WhatsApp group using his mobile phone.

The accused was charged that on January 16, 2016 at an unknown place within Kenya, he distributed pictures allegedly showing dead KDF soldiers through a WhatsApp group called "Youth People's Union".

The charge further said that he did so knowing that the pictures were grossly offensive and with an intent to cause needless anxiety to the family members of the officers and Kenyans in general.

NO FREE BOND

Efforts by his lawyer, Mr Edwin Sifuna, to have him released on a free bond on the basis that the offence was not serious were futile.

Mr Sifuna had argued that the offence could only attract a fine not exceeding Sh50,000 or an alternative of a three-month jail term and the suspect should, therefore, not be remanded.

The lawyer said the charges were meant to harass the accused.

The prosecution, however, rejected the application by the defence lawyer, arguing that the matter was a serious offence.

In his ruling, the magistrate rejected the application by the accused and ordered that he be released on a Sh100,000 bond with a similar surety or a Sh50,000 cash bail.

The case will be mentioned on the February 2 and hearing will begin on February 12.