Court extends order barring arrest of three NTV journalists

Thursday February 8 2018

Linus Kaikai, Larry Madowo and Ken Mijungu

Nation Media Group's NTV journalists (from right) Linus Kaikai, Larry Madowo and Ken Mijungu who moved to court seeking orders barring their imminent arrest following a State shutdown of four TV stations last week. Justice Luka Kimaru has extended the orders saying the three still need the protection of the court. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MAUREEN KAKAH
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The High Court has extended orders barring the arrest, harassment and prosecution of Nation Media Group's NTV journalists Linus Kaikai, Larry Madowo and Ken Mijungu.

Justice Luka Kimaru issued the directive Thursday following pleas from a State lawyer who urged him to set aside the order barring the arrest and prosecution of the three.

But Justice Kimaru pointed out that the three still need protection of the court because they are living in fear of being arrested and therefore extended their Sh100,000 anticipatory bail he had earlier granted them on February 2.

“Interim order are hereby extended,” the judge said.

NOT SOUGHT BY POLICE

The State lawyer who represented the Attorney-General, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Inspector-General of Police, claimed that the police are not seeking to arrest the three.

But the court was told that the journalists had protested against that claim.

Through lawyer James Kounah, the court heard that the government intends to make good its threat on the crackdown on those perceived to be facilitators, including journalists, who covered the controversial “swearing in” of opposition leader Raila Odinga on January 30.

MIGUNA MIGUNA

The court was also told that the threat was made real by the manner in which fiery lawyer Miguna Miguna was arrested, detained and deported out of Kenya despite the existence of an order requiring his release.

According to Chief Inspector Anita Namatsi for the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the journalists complied with a directive which required them to present themselves at the DCI headquarters.

Ms Namatsi also dismissed allegations that police are seeking to arrest the three journalists.

IMMINENT ARREST

The three had moved to court last week to stop an imminent arrest and prosecution.

In their documents, they said they had not committed any offence and have performed their duties diligently and within the law.

They said they have also practiced principles of ethical journalism in the course of their duties.

They claimed that police practically laid siege outside Nation Media Group’s head office on Nairobi’s Kimathi Street.

They pointed out that soon after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said that the police were looking into the “role of some elements in the media fraternity who participated in the furtherance of an attempt to subvert or overthrow the government”, Nation Centre has been under surveillance with the police asking about their whereabouts.

They claimed that the remarks made by Dr Matiang’i have a natural effect of tainting their presumption of innocence.

The case will be mentioned on March 20, 2018.