Meru Senator Mithika Linturi granted Sh2m bail, ordered to report to DCI weekly

Meru Senator Mithika Linturi at Nakuru Court when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti. [Harun Wathari, Standard]

The Nakuru Magistrate's Court has granted Meru Senator Mithika Linturi a Sh2 million cash bail or Sh5 million conditional bond over alleged incitement remarks at a rally this past weekend.

Linturi is expected to report to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Headquarters on Kiambu Road in Nairobi weekly.

The court also ordered the Meru Senator not to contact or intimidate witnesses in the case, either by proxy or personally.

“His free speech rights are limited that he should not make any comments on the case under investigation,” Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti ruled on Tuesday, January 11.

The matter came up for ruling on Monday, as Chief Magistrate Nyaloti ordered that Linturi remains in police custody pending her Tuesday ruling on an application by the State.

The Prosecution stated that the utterances by the Senator “are likely to stir ethnic tension” and sought to detain him for seven days to conclude investigations.

The Prosecution also argued that it had not been able to compile cyber-forensic analysis, and that statements were yet to be recorded from potential witnesses.

Linturi’s defense lawyers, however, accused the State of delay tactics, arguing that the Prosecution breached the Constitution by presenting the accused in court beyond the 24-hour limit.

“The Constitution is clear that an arrested person should be brought to court not more than 24 hours,” the Magistrate noted.

Linturi is facing charges of allegedly inciting the public to violence during Deputy President William Ruto’s rally in Eldoret last Saturday.

He was arrested on Sunday morning in Eldoret and driven to Nakuru before being taken to the DCI offices in Nairobi. He was later returned to Kaptembwo Police Station, where he spent the night.