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Court denies Moses Kuria anticipatory bail in assault case

Monday January 13 2020

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MAUREEN KAKAH
By MAUREEN KAKAH
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RICHARD MUNGUTI
By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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A court on Monday denied Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria anticipatory bail in a case in which a woman has accused him of assaulting her in December 2019.

The woman named Joyce Wanja claimed the MP beat her up at Royal Media studios when they met to discuss the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

In the ruling, Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku noted that the charges levelled against Mr Kuria were properly before the court.

The ruling was a blow to the legislator as his lawyers had expressed fears that he could be rearrested.

PLEA-TAKING

Ms Mutuku also said the legislator, who was to plead to the assault charge on Monday, will do so on Tuesday.

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MP Kuria's lawyers had requested the court to defer the plea-taking until his concerns are addressed.

The concerns are on disobedience of the order for his release and harassment of those who camped outside Kilimani Police Station, where he was held, in a demand for his release.

The magistrate said those issues will be tackled by a different court.

“In my view, the issue of contempt should be dealt with by the court that heard the application. No prejudice will be suffered if he takes the plea. He has an avenue to address his issues before a competent court," she said.

LAWYERS' CONCERNS

Lawyers John Khaminwa and Harun Ndubi said they were not opposed to the charge and that their main concern was the "flagrant disobedience of court orders".

Mr Khaminwa accused Kilimani police of allowing interference with the law as well as the principle of separation of powers.

“This is something that can escalate. Judicial authorities from Kenya have been quoted all over the world hence such actions take the country backwards,” he said.

RELEASE

The legislator is alleged to have assaulted Ms Wanja on December 8 that year

Mr Kuria allegedly attacked her when she confronted him over his remarks during a fundraiser for orphans in Kiambu.

He was arrested last Friday and released on Saturday on a police bond of Sh20,000.

While a court had issued orders granting him Sh50,000 cash bail pending his appearance in court, police declined to have him freed until Saturday evening.

Senior Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot directed that the lawmaker be set free until the hearing of his suit against the Director of Public Prosecution on Monday.

"This is to confirm that the order was issued by this court on January 10. It is authentic and you may proceed with the necessary action," read a letter from the Milimani Chief Magistrate's Court to the OCS in Kilimani.

POLICE

On Monday,police barricaded all roads leading to Milimani ahead of Mr Kuria's journey to court.

They earlier teargassed journalist and politicians affiliated with Deputy President William Ruto, who camped outside Milimani Police Station in a demand for Mr Kuria's release.

Residents of Gatundu South also protested the reluctance to have their MP released despite a court order.