Court dismisses Gatundu South MP Kuria plea to defer case

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 00:00 |
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria at Milimani Law Courts yesterday where he was to take plea over allegations of assault. Photo/PD/CHARLES MATHAI

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria is this morning scheduled to answer to assault charges after a Nairobi court dismissed his application to defer the matter until a related case is determined in another court.

Milimani Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku said nothing stops Kuria from taking a plea in a case in which he is accused of physically assaulting Joyce Wanja Gacie at the Royal Media Services premises on December 8, 2019.  

Mutuku also dismissed Kuria’s application seeking anticipatory bail, saying charges against him were properly in law.

Fundamental rights

The magistrate deferred the matter to this morning to allow Kuria to consult his legal team on the charges before taking a plea.

In her ruling, Mutuku, however, said it will not be prejudicial if the legislator took plea as the anticipated charges had not been challenged by his lawyers.

“I find no prejudice that will be occasioned if Kuria takes plea as he has other avenues to address his issues on violation of his fundamental rights. I therefore extended his police bond and court bond pending plea,” she ruled.

The judge said Kuria should file a formal petition on the claim of infringement of his rights for DPP to respond appropriately. 

“The issue of contempt should be dealt with by the court that heard the application on Friday,” she said.

Kuria, who was arrested on Friday, was released on Saturday evening on a Sh20,000 police bond.

The legislator was forced to spend Friday night behind bars despite the court directing that he be released on a Sh50,000 cash bail.

“It is dishonourable for the DPP to violate the rights of an accused person and still prosecute the person,” the defence said.

This is despite Senior Counsel John Khaminwa saying Kuria was not ready to take plea as an order given by magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot to release him on Friday was disobeyed by the police.

Disobeyed order

He also claimed that Kuria had deposited a further Sh20,000 police bond even after Cheruiyot released him on a Sh50,000 anticipatory cash bail.

“We ask this court to defer plea-taking as this matter touches on issues of abuse of criminal process and defying of court orders,” Khaminwa said.

Khaminwa told the court that despite his effort to have Kuria released from the cells, police refused and instead said that they were under instructions from “higher” authorities.

“The police told me that they were not in a position of helping me as their hands are tied yet we had a court order,” he added.

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