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Man charged with inciting Muslims to commit terror on Facebook

COUNTIES
By By FRED MAKANA | January 19th 2014

By FRED MAKANA

KENYA: A man was charged in a Nairobi court with incitement to commission of terrorist acts.

Westwood Mutua alias Musa Kioko was accused of posting on his Facebook page information that intended to directly incite Muslims to carry out terrorist acts against non-Muslims.

State Counsel Edwin Konga told the court on Friday that the accused allegedly committed the offence between September 23 and October 26 last year. Mutua also faced an alternative charge of misuse of communication gadget contrary to Section 29 (a) of Kenya Communication Amendment Act of 2009.

The court heard that he posted a message saying “yashaabab, what is our reason for missing jihad? Why are we living among the kufar yet the whole prophet says he is far from those who live in kufar lands,” a matter that was intended to directly incite Muslims to carry out terrorists acts against non-Muslims. The accused denied the charges before acting Chief Magistrate Daniel Ochenja.

Lawyer Chacha Mwita for the accused pleaded with the court to grant his client lenient bond terms.

He said the accused was the sole breadwinner of his family and they have been suffering since the time he was put in custody.

Mutua was arrested on October 28 last year, a few days after the Westgate attack that left more than 60 people dead and over 200 injured.

He requested the court for copies of witness statements and documentary evidence that the prosecution seeks to rely on during trial.

However, heated exchange ensued between Mr Konga and Mr Mwita over admission of the accused to bail.

The state counsel argued that the seriousness of the case does not warrant bail terms before the case is determined.

“The offence the accused is facing borders on terrorism, it will therefore set a bad  precedent if he is released on bail,” he stated.

He said the accused is a security threat to society and was likely to abscond court. But the accused’s lawyer opposed the prosecution’s request, arguing that it is the constitutional right of the accused to released on bail.

The Chief Magistrate granted the prosecution’s application on bail. The case will be mentioned on January 21 when the court is also expected to rule on the bail terms.

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