- - 23rd Jan 2013 00:00:00 GMT +0300
By WAHOME THUKU
Candidate for Nairobi Governor Ferdinand Waititu came under fire over remarks he made in a live television interview on Sunday, touching on a criminal case against him.
A Nairobi magistrate came short of reprimanding Mr Waititu for commenting on the incitement case, but made a general warning to him and other parties not to discuss the matter outside trial.
The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had applied to have Waititu, the Jubilee nominee for the Nairobi Governor’s seat, reprimanded for discussing details of the case outside the court.
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State lawyers Moses Omirera and Lilian Oduor put up a case to have Waituti strongly warned over what they termed as contempt of court.
Waititu, is being tried for incitement to violence and hate speech charges. The case arose from remarks he made last September over some members of the Maasai community residing in Kayole Estate, Embakasi.
On Sunday, Waititu and his CORD opponent Evans Kidero were hosted to a live interview on Citizen TV.
It was during the interview that Dr Kidero raised the allegations of incitement leveled against Waititu.
In response, Waititu explained in detail the background of the allegations saying his remarks had been taken out of context. But when the case resumed Tuesday, the State counsel raised the issue saying the remarks were contemptuous, abusive to the court, and would interference with the process.
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But Waititu’s lawyers Evans Ondieki and Cliff Ombetta defended him, saying the claims by the State had no factual basis.
Mr Ondieki said Article 34 of the Constitution protects freedom of the media while Article 33 provides for freedom of expression. The case was adjourned after Waititu complained of illness.
It was adjourned to April 4, by which time the elections will have already been held.
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Ferdinand Waititu court