Magistrate gives prosecution 'last chance' in MP's incitement case

Tiaty Mp William Kamket during an interview. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

A Nakuru court has given the prosecution 'last chance' to produce witnesses in an incitement trial against Tiaty MP William Kamket.

Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti yesterday ruled that the case will proceed tomorrow, and will be prioritised to end on June 30.

Noting that the State had sufficient resources to trace witnesses, Ms Nyaloti dismissed the prosecution claims that witnesses had disappeared and therefore could not be traced.

Maureen Wambui, the case prosecutor, told court she could not proceed with the hearing because crucial witnesses could not be traced. “We are not ready to proceed with the case. Following court directions, we did a letter in May, stating that all witnesses be availed. But we subsequently received a letter in June, from DCIO Laikipia West, that the crucial witnesses in the case had relocated," said Ms Wambui.

The court heard that the investigating officer had not established where the witnesses relocated to.

The prosecutor indicated that they had written a letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, seeking directions given the nature of the offence, but were yet to receive feedback.

Mr Kamket's lawyer Kipkoech Ng'etich, told court the office of the DPP and police should respect the court instead of taking it for granted. “There used to be a time when court appearance was taken with the seriousness it deserves. The ODPP and police have lost this,” Mr Ng'etich said.

He said Mr Kamket was arrested on September 8, 2021 by police, led by the Baringo County commander, who asked for 14 days to hold the accused to allow them to complete investigations, which was disallowed.

“Subsequently, on November 14, 2021, the ODPP did not have witnesses and exhibits. The court however warned them to take the case seriously. On December 3, 2021, there were no witnesses, forcing court to issue a warning on February 9, 2022. They failed to produce the witnesses,” Mr Ng'etich said.

He said the case had more than 10 witnesses yet the prosecution had not availed even one.

The court observed that the accused has a fundamental right and that the constitution also demanded that justice shall be administered expeditiously without delay. “The prosecution should either make up their minds to proceed with the case or withdraw, the reason given by the prosecution is not convincing, that the witnesses cannot be traced is taking the court for granted,” Nyaloti ruled.

She further directed that the case to be heard on June 22 and that the case will be prioritized to conclude before June 30.

Kamket was arrested on September 8, 2021. He is facing incitement charges.

S. Sudan cargo pile up in Mombasa as agents reject levy
Ndung'u budget could make life worse for Kenyans, experts warn
Premium From Canaan to crisis: The reality of broken promises, economic missteps
Fuel price relief for motorists as tax pain awaits in Finance Bill