Kenya: Moses Kuria Set for Plea-Taking in Assault Case

24 January 2020

Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria is expected in court Friday to take a plea in an assault case.

Mr Kuria was arrested on January 10 for allegedly attacking Ms Joyce Wanja at Royal Media Services studios on December 8, 2019.

The vocal legislator did not plead to the charge as expected last week, his lawyers John Khaminwa and Haroun Ndubi contesting the validity of the charge sheet and its particulars.

They submitted that the Constitution bars police from prosecuting criminal cases, under which their client's matter falls.

The plea-taking was, therefore, deferred to allow the court to probe the authenticity of the charge sheet.

The court is expected to rule on the matter today.

RELEASE BATTLE

The complainant alleges that Mr Kuria hit her when they disagreed during a debate on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report that was being aired on Wanjiku TV.

Following the arrest, the legislator was detained at Kilimani Police Station.

Senior Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot later released him on a cash bail of Sh50,000 but police defied the order and kept him in custody for one more day.

After a protest by his supporters and a number of MPs, he was set free on the evening of January 11 on a Sh20,000 police bond.

Soon after his release, Mr Kuria returned to court to file an application for anticipatory bail, fearing police would re-arrest him.

Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku threw out the application but extended his bail and bond terms.

POSSIBILITIES

If the court finds the charge sheet valid, the MP will take a plea, allowing the case to proceed.

If the document is found legally defective, however, the court could throw out the case.

It also remains to be seen if the court will extend the accused's bail terms.

The MP claimed the woman was blackmailing him and has linked his woes to his decision to join Tangatanga MPs allied to Deputy President William Ruto.

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