The Standard journalist summoned to record a statement over reporting of the Nadome attack yesterday appeared before the Criminal Investigation Department in Nakuru.
Alex Kiprotich, The Standard's Deputy News Editor and Nakuru Bureau Chief, yesterday appeared before Nakuru County Criminal Investigation Officer James Lelia after he was summoned last Friday. Mr Kiprotich, who was accompanied by his lawyer Juma Kiplenge, appeared at the CID Offices at around 10am and was interviewed in the DCIO's office.
Kiplenge said his client was asked to give details of the sources the newspaper relied on in the extensive coverage of the Nadome killings.
"Police have assured me that my client will not be arrested or intimidated by anybody. I am pretty aware of the content carried in the publication and I have assured them that I will be ready to produce my client in case they need him," he said.
Kiplenge said police should not intimidate journalists because the Constitution protected free press.
"Police know very well that journalists cannot just disclose their sources. I am not even aware of any court that has compelled a journalist to disclose their sources. It is unacceptable," he said.
The lawyer challenged the police to instead work closely with journalists to get tips because most Kenyans trust the Press more than the security apparatus.
"The police should actually win the confidence of journalists because they are very valuable in the kind of information they have. Most Kenyans would confide in them more than other institutions," he said.
On Thursday around 8pm, Rift Valley Regional Police Commandant Gideon Amala called Mr Kiprotich demanding to know the source of a story that appeared in The Standard about senior police officers who escaped death narrowly when they were allegedly ambushed by bandits at Kalpat village in Nadome, Baringo County.
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According to sources present during the incident, an injured Turkana raider fired at two helicopters but was subdued and killed by Pokot warriors combing the area for more bodies. Mr Amala warned Kiprotich in a recorded conversation of unspecified action.
"I swear by the name of God that someone must pay for this. Either you or your boss, someone must pay. We will not continue allowing you to report like this," Amala is heard on the recorded conversation in our possession.
Amala was in the company of Deputy Inspector General Grace Kahindi, Rift Valley Regional Co-ordinator Osman Warfa, Assistant Deputy IG Peter Pampa and Silale Ward Representative Nelson Lotela when the alleged incident occurred.
The senior government officials had flown to the area aboard administration police and regular police helicopters in a mission to establish the actual number of those killed.
It seems authorities are not amused with the information The Standard has been publishing about the attack that has left 66 people dead according to the Kenya Red Cross Society.