Judge doubles Moses Kuria's bond in hate speech case

Kuria MP ordered to pay an additional Sh5m to continue enjoying freedom.

Wednesday February 10 2016

By VINCENT AGOYA
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Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria suffered a blow Tuesday after the High Court increased the bond he was granted in a hate speech and incitement to violence case.

Justice Luka Kimaru ordered the politician to pay an additional Sh5 million to continue enjoying his freedom pending the hearing and determination of the case arising from the “panga slashing” remarks.

Mr Kuria is accused of inciting the youth to arm themselves with machetes and attack politicians opposed to National Youth Service projects.

A magistrate had earlier granted the lawmaker a Sh5 million bond.

Judge Kimaru gave him an equally enhanced alternative of depositing a Sh3 million cash bail, from the earlier Sh1 million he had been granted by the lower court.

Mr Kuria is required to comply with the new terms within seven days, the judge ruled.

CANCELLING

Justice Kimaru said he had fallen short of cancelling the bond but considered the  constitutional requirement that the “accused be deemed innocent until proven otherwise”.

The judge criticised the politician in particular and others in general, saying that “as leaders they should be cautious of their utterances”.

“As a public figure, the respondent must weigh his words, unlike those uttered by ordinary folk. The political class must be made to bear the consequences,” he said.

He said politicians must refrain from inciting the public or bear the pain of sanctions the courts can easily impose.

“The bond terms have been enhanced because, from the records of the Chief Magistrate’s Court, he had been warned not to utter the same words, but the prosecution has demonstrated that he has continued to do so,” the judge said.

This follows an application filed by DPP Keriako Tobiko that sought a cancellation of the MP’s bond terms for “continued spewing of hate speech”.

The judge ruled that while it is the constitutional right of the accused to be granted bond, the  all the set conditions must be honoured.

Mr Kimaru said the prosecution had indeed demonstrated that there were compelling reasons warranting the decision he made.

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