DENIES WRONGDOING

MP Oscar Sudi charged with hate speech

State drops illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, assaulting a police office charges

In Summary

• In the first and second count, the charge sheet says the legislator used threatening words likely to stir ethnic hatred on YouTube at an unknown place on September 7.

• On another count, he is charged with using abusive words via YouTube that were likely to breach peace.

Kpseret MP Oscar Sudi at the fore with his back to the camera at the Nakuru senior principal magistrate's court.
Kpseret MP Oscar Sudi at the fore with his back to the camera at the Nakuru senior principal magistrate's court.
Image: LOISE MACHARIA
Nakuru senior principal magistrate Lillian Arika during the court session.
Nakuru senior principal magistrate Lillian Arika during the court session.
Image: LOISE MACHARIA

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi has been charged with two counts of hate speech and one of offensive conduct.  

Sudi appeared before Nakuru senior principal magistrate Lillian Arika via video link and denied all the charges.

In the first and second count, the charge sheet says the legislator used threatening words likely to stir ethnic hatred on YouTube at an unknown place on September 7.

 

On another count, he is charged with using abusive words via YouTube that were likely to breach peace.

The state did not charge him with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition and assaulting a police officer. Both charges had earlier been mentioned in court but no reason was given for dropping them.

When he was first presented before the Nakuru chief magistrate, the prosecution said they were investigating him on five charges including the last two.

The prosecution also asked the court to detain the MP for 14 days to allow it time to conduct forensic analysis on the firearm.

Sudi’s team of lawyers led by Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Boss Sholei, Isaac Terer, Hilary Sigei and Bernard Ng’etich asked magistrate Arika to release their client on reasonable bond.

They asked for a Sh100,000 cash bail and promised that their client will attend court when required to do so.

“The prosecution must provide compelling reasons warranting denial of the legislator’s release on bond,” Ng’etich said.

 

He said the MP has well known places of residence in Nairobi and Eldoret and has heeded police summons since the matter came up.

“He is a distinguished member of the society and there is no danger of him being a flight risk,” Ng’etich said.

They also asked the court to allow Sudi to skip court during mentions and instead allow the lawyers to represent him in absentia.

State counsel Daniel Karuri said the prosecution was not opposed to Sudi’s release on bond but asked the court to retain the terms of the High Court.

However, Karuri said the MP was a citizen like any other and should promptly attend court.

Arika affirmed the bond terms given by Justice Joel Ngugi and released Sudi on a Sh500,000 cash bail with an alternative bond of Sh1 million.

She said the issue of whether the MP should attend mention dates will be addressed by the trial court.

The matter will come up for pre-conference on October 6.

Sudi’s lawyers are at liberty to ask the court for a review on his freedom to address political gatherings.

 

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