Kenya: Sonko Cites Malice in 'Revival' of Old Criminal Case

20 February 2021

Former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko has accused the government of using a decades old case, which was quashed in 2001, as an excuse to keep him in remand.

In a petition pending before the High Court, Sonko said he was aware that the State wants to resurrect criminal cases against him, which collapsed in 1998.

Some of the cases, he said, were quashed by Justice Samuel Oguk in 2001, adding that the objective of resurrecting the cases is to achieve a political outcome of killing his political career as opposed to prosecuting the cases in public interest.

The politician, who is currently in hospital under police watch awaiting terror charges, said Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji had been bringing up the 1997 criminal case, but the court had always rejected the submission.

He said he served his prison term at Shimo la Tewa, and had neem completed but the matter is always brought up yet the case was quashed.

While releasing him after pleading not guilty before a Kiambu court, chief magistrate Stella Atambo said the charges were all misdemeanours whose maximum jail term is up to five years.

The magistrate further noted that the DPP was unable to explain the clearance certificate by the police as a law abiding citizen yet he has painted him as a criminal.

The court also said there was no evidence that the politician had interfered with or intimidated witnesses.

"The mere allegation that the accused will interfere with witnesses is not sufficient to warrant such denial of bond. The likelihood must be demonstrated," the magistrate said.

Inhumanity

In the petition, Sonko said he had been subjected to psychological, mental and physical torture, which was tantamount to inhumane and degrading treatment.

His lawyers pointed out that another court had in 2019 told Sonko to ensure his supporters do not cause disruption in any known legal process or disrupt peace in whatever form.

"The respondents have been driven by impunity, malice and bad faith and they are bringing all sorts of frivolous cases that are baseless and unfounded to continue holding me in illegal custody and detention," he said.

Sonko was released on bond after denying the charges but he was presented before a Kahawa court to answer to terror related charges but the police asked for his detention for 30 days, as they complete the probe.

Chief magistrate Diana Mochache ordered that he taken back to hospital awaiting the charges.

Milimani magistrate Douglas Ogoti last week directed that Sonko be examined by three doctors and a report on his condition filed in court on March 1.

The case in Kahawa will be heard on February 26.

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