Judge bars police from arresting NTV’s Kaikai, Madowo and Mijungu
The High Court has barred police from arresting three NTV journalists Linus Kaikai, Larry Madowo and Ken Mijungu.
Justice Luka Kimaru has granted the trio an anticipatory bail of Sh100,000 but directed them to present themselves with their lawyers at CID headquarters on Monday 2pm.
NMG Broadcasting General Manager Kaikai and presenters Madowo and Mijungu on Thursday moved to court to stop the government from arresting and prosecuting them over the ‘swearing in’ of Nasa leader Raila Odinga.
Through lawyer Stephen Gitonga, the three NTV journalists had sued the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecution and the Inspector General of police.
They claimed that police have practically laid siege outside Nation Media Group’s head office in Nairobi’s Kimathi Street.
They also claimed that soon after Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Fred Matiang’i said that the police are looking into the “role of some elements in the media fraternity who participated in the furtherance of an attempt to subvert or overthrow the government”, Nation Center had been under surveillance with the police asking about their whereabouts.
They claimed that the remarks made by the CS have a natural effect of tainting their presumption of innocence since media stations remain offline while they are under siege inside the media house.
“That the reasonable inference is that the police want to arrest the trio, the intended arrests are not in the ordinary course of criminal justice process,” said Mr Gitonga.
Mr Gitonga argued that they have not been formally summoned in the conventional way hence the intended arrest at their place of work is an infringement of their right.
While asking the court to intervene, they are seeking to be granted an anticipatory bail pending the hearing and determination of their case.
INTENTION TO ARREST
In filed case documents, Mr Kaikai disclosed that he was informed by reporters that a number of persons have been asking for him whiles seeking to find out where his office is located in the building.
He also said that he spotted plainclothes police officers surrounding his vehicle at the basement car park.
“I therefore genuinely believe that there is an intention to arrest and detain me in police custody in relation to my work as a journalist and thereafter be charged with a false offense of incitement,” said Mr Kaikai.
According to the trio, they have not committed any offence and have performed their duties diligently in conformity with the law as well as principles of ethical journalism.
On Wednesday, Human rights crusaders and journalists rushed to the Nation Media Group headquarters after word went round that police were waiting to arrest them.
They are suspected to have been part of media employees targeted by the police for undisclosed reasons following a directive from the Interior CS that the police would arrest some people for their role in the ‘swearing-in’ of Odinga at Uhuru Park in Nairobi.
The matter will be coming up on Friday before High Court judge Luka Kimaru.