•ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna supports withdrawal of charges, callIng backlash hypocritiCal and manufactured outrage.
•Many members of the public and lawyers were outraged that Owino would not stand trial for the attack in January at a Kilimani night club.
Felix Orinda, known as DJ Evolve, has decided to drop attempted murder charges against Embakasi MP Babu Owino.
Many members of the public and lawyers were outraged that Owino would not stand trial for the attack in January at a Kilimani night club.
Orinda said on Friday that after consulting with his family, he wanted to concentrate on his recuperation rather than acrimonious litigation in court.
The Director of Public Prosecutions has not approved the withdrawal of a case considered in the public interest and not only between two individuals.
Babu was charged with attempting to kill Evolve by shooting him in the neck at a city club during a quarrel on January 17. He was also charged with disorderly conduct while carrying a firearm.i
DJ Evolve wrote the letter through his lawyers, saying that the case has affected his healing process. But the DPP told the court he needed more time to assess the mental status of the DJ before he could give a comprehensive response to the letter.
However, Waikwa Wanyoike, a litigation director at the Open Society Foundation, said that even if he wanted, the DJ cannot withdraw the charges because the charge was pressed by the DPP and not himself.
He said a criminal case is a not a dispute between individuals but between the state and the individual.
"In basic criminal law facts relevant to DJ Evolve, a criminal prosecution is not a dispute between an accused and the victim, it is a dispute between the state and the accused, because of the greater public interest the public has to ensure those who commit crimes are held to account," Wanyoike said.
He asserted that the DPP is under a legal obligation to prosecute the vociferous MP if "there is credible evidence a crime was committed."
Withdrawing the case despite credible evidence and witnesses' statements would be a dereliction of duty by the DPP, the lawyer said.
Social media user Ike Ojuok complained, "If the incident incident involving Babu Owino and DJ Evolve had happened in US or UK, the MP would be serving a life sentence in jail.
"But but because we are in a country where the Judiciary prosecution Prosecution only jail the poor..they are now planning to declare Babu Owino mweupe kama pamba."
Law Society of Kenya council member Omwanza Nyamweya said the suggested termination of charges makes the petition by activist Okiya Omtatah very relevant - he challenged them procedures and rules on plea bargaining.
"On this DJ evolve matter, I am in complete support of @OkiyaOmtatah's petition seeking to have the rules and procedures on plea bargaining and withdrawal of suits clearly spelt out and the courts role in the process clearly defined." he said.
But ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna supported the DJ's desire to withdraw charges, dismissing the public backlash as hypocritical and manufactured rage.
"The actual person who was actually hurt has spoken and said he doesn't wish to press charges. But the Twitter DJ Evolve manufactured by the outraged industrial complex will have none of it. Who shot you?" he asked.
(Edited by V. Graham)