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Lari MP Joseph Mburu charged for assault, flouting traffic rules

NAIROBI
By FRED MAKANA | December 11th 2013

By FRED MAKANA

NAIROBI, KENYA: Lari MP Joseph Mburu Kahangara was Tuesday charged afresh with six counts of assaulting a police officer and flouting traffic rules.

The prosecutor told Nairobi Senior Principal Magistrate E Cherono of Traffic Court that on December 6, at about 10am along Globe roundabout in Nairobi, the accused unlawfully assaulted Corporal David Ruto, who was at the time executing his duty.

Mr Kahangara was also accused of failing to obey directions given by a police officer in uniform contrary to section 52(1)(a) of Traffic Act CAP 403.

The court heard that on the same day at about 10.30am along Muranga Road, the accused being the driver of Toyota Land Cruiser Prado KBU 362J, failed to obey the direction given by a police officer.

He was further accused of failing to stop when required to do so by a police officer in uniform.

The MP was further accused of allowing the said vehicle to remain on the road, which was likely to obstruct or cause inconvenience to other road users. “Being the driver of the said motor vehicle, you did drive on a public road without a driving licence,” the MP was told in court. He was also accused of failing to carry his driving licence contrary to the law. However, the MP pleaded not guilty to all charges and was released on cash bail of Sh100,000. The hearing of the case is set for February 18.

The legislator escaped spending the weekend in jail narrowly after a magistrate’s court rejected his application for bail last Friday.

He was arrested by police and detained at Central Police Station following a complaint by Corporal Ruto.

The MP was then arraigned before Nairobi Magistrate Dolphine Okundi, charged with assaulting a police officer. However, Kahangara’s application for bail terms was rejected by the magistrate on grounds that investigation was still in progress.

POLICE PROBE

The magistrate ordered the legistlator to remain in custody for four days awaiting police probe into the matter. The MP’s lawyer, Kinyua Njagi, immediately petitioned Justice Msagha Mbogholi of the High Court seeking to have his client admitted to bail. In the petition, Njagi argued his client’s fundamental right to bail and fair hearing had been violated.

Justice Mbogholi ordered the accused to deposit a personal bond of Sh100,000 with the deputy registrar of the Judiciary to secure his freedom.

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