Karua depicts man accused of writing Uhuru loan alert poster
NARC-Kenya party leader Martha Karua on Wednesday (April 7) represented in court a young man accused of writing a poster warning the international community against granting loans to President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Activist Edwin Kiama was brought to justice in Milimani court, where police sought to keep him in detention for 14 days to allow for investigations.
Kiama was arrested Tuesday evening at his Nairobi home for cybercrime-related offenses, police said.
While representing the suspect, senior lawyer Martha Karua said the state’s quest to detain her client made no sense, given that law enforcement officers know where he lives and that Kiama does not represent a flight risk.
“The demand from investigators seeking to detain Kiama for 14 days is laughable. They already have his computer, [which has all the content they are seeking to examine]”said Karua.
Human rights lawyer Harun Ndubi, who also represents Kiama, asked the court to release the suspect on bail and schedule the mention for Thursday, April 8, saying they needed more time to prepare the case.
While defending the reasons why the state should detain Kiama, the prosecution said the suspect’s detention would give them more time to adequately prepare for the case.
Karua called the prosecution’s argument flawed, saying it was “illegal” for the prosecuting authority to appear in court unprepared.
“They came to court unprepared. We are now asking that our client be released on free bail. So far, no file listing his offenses has been produced in court by the prosecution, ”Karua said.
Kiama was brought to justice before Milimani’s Senior Resident Magistrate, Jane Kamau.
The magistrate said she could not rule on the matter until the prosecution produced Kiama’s case in court.
“If the prosecution fails to do so, the suspect must be released,” Kamau said.
The public prosecutor asked for additional time so that they could bring the case to court.
Magistrate Jane Kamau gave the prosecution an hour to produce said file, failing which the suspect would be released.
The case was to resume Wednesday at 2.15 p.m.
Kiama’s controversial poster follows the disbursement of a 255 billion shillings loan to Kenya by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The added debt on the shoulders of taxpayers drew criticism from Kenyans online, who took to Twitter to ask the IMF to reverse their decision to give the loan to Kenya.
By George Maringa and Brian Okoth.