Owner of drone in Ruto Karen residence security scare charged
A Polish national, whose drone strayed into the private residence of Deputy President William Ruto, was yesterday charged before Milimani Chief Magistrate’s court with operating an unlicensed aircraft.
Piote Lukasz Litwiniuk did not plead to the four counts but was released on cash bail of Sh200,000 pending plea taking today (Thursday).
Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku granted Litwiniuk bail to enable him engage a lawyer before pleading to the charges of importation of an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) without a permit, and operating an unlicensed aircraft.
The accused was also charged with operating an aircraft system without a remote pilot licence and failing to register the UAS.
Litwiniuk (pictured) was arrested on Monday by Directorate of Criminal Investigations detectives and was grilled for two days before the charges were preferred against him.
The owner of the house in which the drone was launched Hinds Jeremy, 37, was also arrested on Monday evening and grilled but was later released.
In his statement to the police, Jeremy said he had invited his friends to his house for a house warming.
He added that the drone belonged to one of his visitors who was at the time of the incident using it to take some aerial photos.
The incident caused security concerns after the drone, a flying computer with a camera or sensor attached, hovered over the residence before it disappeared. It was later traced to the compound of Ruto’s neighbour, who surrendered it.
The joint team investigating the matter retrieved the memory card of the device whose contents were still being analysed.
The fortified residence situated on Koitobos road in Hardy, Karen, is guarded by officers from the Presidential Guard of the General Service Unit commonly referred to as the ‘G’ Company.
The platoon, of 30 officers, is usually headed by a senior officer.
According to the regulations, a drone operator should not use a device equipped with an imaging device to conduct surveillance on or take an image of a person or his property without that person’s written consent.
They must comply with all laws relating to protection of privacy or data. Regulations require that UAS or drones should not be a cause of nuisance or intrude into the privacy or property of other people.