What the suspect was charged with

Edwin Kiama was arrested on Tuesday April 6. [File, Standard]

By George Maringa and Brian Okoth

Edwin Kiama, a Nairobi resident accused of writing false information about President Uhuru Kenyatta, will be in custody on Wednesday evening after the courts fail to rule on his bail request.

Kiama was arrested in front of the senior resident magistrate of the Milimani courthouse, Jane Kamau.

The prosecution charged Kiama with two offenses, namely computer misuse and cybercrime and publishing false information about President Kenyatta.

Kiama did not accept a plea because the prosecution was slow to produce its case.

The prosecution had previously requested that the suspect be held for 14 days to allow investigations to be completed, a request which Kiama’s lawyers, Martha Karua and Harun Ndubi objected to.

At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Magistrate Kamau postponed the decision on Kiama’s bail application until 9 a.m. Thursday.

It is still unclear whether Kiama will plead on his subsequent arraignment.

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Magistrate Kamau ordered the suspect to be detained at the central police station before his trial.

Kiama was arrested Tuesday evening April 6 at his home in Nairobi for allegedly drawing up a poster warning the international community against approving the loans requested by President Kenyatta.

On Wednesday morning, Kiama’s lawyer, Martha Karua, called the prosecution’s request to confine the suspect “laughable”.

Karua said the app made no sense, given that law enforcement officers know Kiama’s whereabouts and that he poses no risk of absconding.

“They already have his computer, [which has all the content they are seeking to examine]Said Karua.

While defending the state on why it needs to detain Kiama, the prosecution said the kidnapping of the suspect would give them more time to properly prepare for the case.

Karua called the prosecution’s argument flawed, saying it was “illegal” for the prosecuting authority to appear in court unprepared.

“They came to court unprepared. We are now asking that our client be released on bail. So far, no file listing his offenses has been produced in court by the prosecution, ”Karua said.

Kiama’s controversial poster came following a 255 billion shillings loan disbursement to Kenya by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The added debt on the shoulders of taxpayers drew criticism from Kenyans online, who took to Twitter to ask the IMF to reverse their decision to give Kenya the multibillion shilling loan.


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