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Blogger Alai, prison officer detained for two weeks over Wajir attack photos

By Paul Ogemba | June 19th 2019

Blogger Robert Alai and Patrick Safari in the dock at a Milimani court. The court granted police 14 days to detain suspects and investigate them for circulating terror related photos. [George Njunge/Standard]

Blogger Robert Alai and prison officer Patrick Safari who are facing terror-related charges will be detained for two weeks to allow for investigations.

The two are alleged to have shared photos of police officers killed on Sunday’s terror attack in Wajir.

Nairobi Principal Magistrate Sinkiyan Tobiko ruled the Prosecution had provided sufficient evidence to warrant detaining the two as investigations continue into claims they might have received the photos from an Al Shabaab sympathiser.

But Alai and Safari, through lawyers Angela Mwadumbo and Sam Nyaberi, opposed the application to detain them arguing that there was no compelling reason.

According to the lawyers, detaining the two was just a punishment for exercising their rights to freedom of expression.

Although the Prosecution wanted 30 days to detain Alai and Safari, the magistrate ruled that 14 working days will be sufficient to carry any investigations.

He ordered they be produced in court on July 4 to face the charges or be released.

State prosecutor Angela Odhiambo told the court that the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) required more days to do a forensic audit on phones of Alai and Safari.

At the same time, ATPU officers arrested Administration Police Officer Wilfred Kipkemei Maiyo on claims that he has been sharing police operations and information with Alai, including the dead bodies of police officers killed in the Wajir attack.

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