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Lebanese cleric denies defilement charges

By Patrick Kibet | Published Tue, March 6th 2018 at 00:00, Updated March 5th 2018 at 23:44 GMT +3
Sheik Murtadha Mustapha Murtadha [Photo: Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

A Lebanese national accused of defiling a 15-year-old girl in 2012 was yesterday arraigned in the Children’s Court in Nakuru.

Sheikh Murtadha Mustafa Murtadha denied two counts of defilement and committing an indecent act before Principal Magistrate Joe Omindo.

According to the prosecution, Mr Murtadha defiled the girl in Nairobi in July 2012 and fled the country on December 6 after he was reported to the police.

The prosecution asked the court not to release Murtadha as he was a flight risk, having evaded arrest after a warrant was issued in December 2012.

“The accused left the country on December 6, 2012, when a warrant of arrest was issued. It was only effected on March 2 (2018) at the Moi International Airport. If released on bond, the accused could abscond court,” the prosecution said.

The prosecution further applied to have the accused deposit his passport in court if he was released on bond.

Lawyer Cliff Ombeta, for the accused, claimed the prosecution charged a different individual by the name Sheikh Said Murtadha Murtadha in 2012.

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Mr Ombeta said his client has been in and out of the country more than 30 times and was not informed of the charges until his arrest at the airport. Murtadha was released on a Sh800,000 bond or Sh300,000 cash bail and ordered to deposit his passport in court.

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