Blogger Robert Alai charged with undermining President Uhuru Kenyatta

Wednesday December 17 2014

Blogger Robert Alai in a Nairobi court during the hearing of a case in which he was charged with posting an annoying tweet against the then head of Civil Service, Mr Francis Kimemia. Last week he was arrested for allegedly undermining the authority of the president. FILE PHOTO |PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Blogger Robert Alai in a Nairobi court during the hearing of a case in which he was charged with posting an annoying tweet against the then head of Civil Service, Mr Francis Kimemia. Last week he was arrested for allegedly undermining the authority of the president. FILE PHOTO |PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By ERIC WAINAINA
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Blogger Robert Alai was on Wednesday charged in a Kiambu court with undermining President Uhuru Kenyatta in a post on Twitter.

Mr Alai was freed on bond and warned by the magistrate not post on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp or any other publication any content that is similar to the subject before the court.

Mr Alai, who was arrested on Monday, denied the charge read out to him by Principal Magistrate Diana Mochache and was freed on a bond of Sh300,000 with an alternative of a Sh200,000 cash bail.

The blogger was charged with undermining the authority of a public officer contrary to Section 132 of the Penal Code.

The charge stated that on December 13, he posted the comment on his Twitter account which was circulated with the aim of bringing into contempt the lawful authority of the President of the Republic of Kenya.

His lawyers, led by Siaya Senator James Orengo, successfully opposed an application by the state to deny bail to the accused until the case is heard and determined.

The State counsel had in an affidavit alleged that Mr Alai is likely to repeat the same offence if released on bond.

The prosecution also said that investigations were still under way and it was likely that more charges would be filed against Mr Alai.

Ms Mochache ruled that the case is sensitive because it involves the President but faulted the prosecution for failing to adduce satisfactory grounds for seeking to remand the accused.

She said the State counsel had failed to explain how Mr Alai would continue making such posts and disclose what other charges he is likely to face.

The case will be heard on February 16 next year.