alexa Court bars police from publishing booking photos of suspects online - Daily Nation

Court bars police from publishing booking photos of suspects online

Monday December 10 2018

Joseph Boinnet and George Kinoti

Police IG Joseph Boinnet (left) and DCI head George Kinoti. FILE PHOTOS | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MAUREEN KAKAH
By MAUREEN KAKAH
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The High Court has barred the Director of Criminal Investigations and the Inspector-General of Police from publishing on social media photos of suspects who are yet to be arraigned over various criminal allegations.

Justice Wilfrida Okwany issued the temporary directive in a case in which a city resident filed case protesting publication of photos of criminal suspects on Facebook and Twitter.

"A conservatory order is hereby issued restraining the Inspector-General of Police and the Director of Criminal Investigations from posting suspects and accused persons booking photographs on the internet pending the determination of this case," said Justice Okwany.

Mr Henry Namiti Shitanda, the petitioner, said posting booking photos on the internet is humiliating and embarrassing to suspects or accused persons.

Mr Shitanda argued that it is an infringement on their privacy, conveys a strong connotation that the suspects are already guilty even before trial.

Such publications, he said, hampers potential prospects of the affected individuals professionally as well as personally even if they are later acquitted.

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He alleged that photos posted on the internet remain permanently there and cannot be erased long after the case ends.

He also alleged that the posting of suspects’ photos ignores the presumption of innocence.

The judge certified the case as urgent and set the hearing date on March 5, 2019.