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State drops incitement charges against Kibor

BUSINESS
By | April 7th 2009

By Karanja Njoroge and Nick Oluoch

The State has withdrawn incitement charges against Eldoret politician Jackson Kibor.

However, Mr Kibor could be rearrested and charged afresh with incitement related to post-election violence.

Nakuru Chief Magistrate Wilbroda Juma allowed the State to drop the case under section 87(A) of the law, under which the politician can be charged afresh.

His lawyer Katwa Kigen had objected to his release under that section.

The charges said that on February 3, last year, in Uasin Gishu District, he incited residents using a language calculated to bring death or physical injury to an ethnic community.

The lawyer wanted the charges withdrawn completely saying his client’s constitutional rights had been violated.

"The application by the State is allowed under and you may be re-arrested and charged if police decide to do so," the Chief Magistrate said.

Kibor said releasing him under that section would place him under double jeopardy.

However, in her ruling, the magistrate said there was no risk as his case had not been exhaustively heard and determined.

"This court is obliged to accept the prosecution’s application," she said.

The defence also claimed that they had been denied witness statements to prepare for the hearing.

She said the defence should not have waited for the prosecution before raising issues regarding witness statements. Kibor was arrested on February 20 at his Eldoret home but was transferred to Nakuru.

In a separate case, a manager with Mastermind Tobacco Company and five of his staff have been charged with theft of tobacco.

Francis Mutinda, who is the company’s manager in Migori and his juniors were charged with stealing 5.8 tonnes of tobacco valued at Sh597,400. The tobacco belonged to a rival firm -Alliance One Tobacco Limited.

Mutinda was charged alongside Oliver Mbabu, Benson Onyango, Fredrick Owino, Joseph Mutua and Felix Muramba. They were alleged to have committed the offence on March 25 at Ochuna in Migori District.

The accused are charged alongside two Alliance One employees Julius Bokeo and Hesbon Abuya.

Onyango, Mutua, and Owino are also facing another count of handling stolen goods. The all pleaded not guilty and were released on a cash bail of Sh5,000 each by Migori Senior Principal Magistrate Ezra Awino.

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