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Karua represents man accused of authoring Uhuru loans alert poster

NAIROBI
By Standard Team | April 7th 2021
Cybercrime suspect Edwin Kiama with his lawyer, Senior Counsel Martha Karua, at the Milimani Law Courts on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. [George Maringa, Standard]

NARC-Kenya Party Leader Martha Karua on Wednesday, April 7 represented in court a youthful man accused of authoring a poster warning the international community against giving loans to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Activist Edwin Kiama was arraigned at the Milimani Law Courts, where police sought to hold him in custody for 14 days to allow for investigations.

Kiama was arrested at his Nairobi home on Tuesday night over cybercrime-related offences, police said.

Edwin Kiama (third from right) is accused of authoring a poster to the international community, warning them against giving loans to Kenya. [George Maringa, Standard]

While representing the suspect, Senior Counsel Martha Karua said the State’s quest to detain her client made no sense, given law enforcement officers know where he lives, and that Kiama is not a flight risk.

“The application by investigating officers seeking to detain Kiama for 14 days is laughable. They already have his computer, [which has all the content they are seeking to examine],” said Karua.

Human rights lawyer, Harun Ndubi, who is also representing Kiama, requested the court to release the suspect on bail, and schedule the mention for Thursday, April 8, saying they needed more time to prepare for the case.

While defending why the State needs to detain Kiama, the Prosecution said the suspect’s confinement would allow them more time to prepare adequately for the case.

Karua termed the Prosecution’s argument as lame, saying it was “illegal” for the suing authority to come to court unprepared.

“They came to court unprepared. We are now requesting to have our client released on free bond. So far, no file listing his offence(s) has been produced in court by the Prosecution,” said Karua.

As of Wednesday noon, Edwin Kiama was yet to be formally charged. [George Maringa, Standard]

Kiama was arraigned before Milimani Senior Resident Magistrate Jane Kamau.

The magistrate said she couldn’t pronounce herself on the matter until the Prosecution produced Kiama’s case file in court.

“Should the Prosecution fail to do that, then the suspect should be released,” said Kamau.

The State prosecutor requested for more time so that they could bring the case file to court.

Magistrate Jane Kamau gave the Prosecution one hour to produce the said file, failure of which the suspect would be freed.

The matter was scheduled for resumption at 2:15pm Wednesday.

Kiama's controversial poster came on the back of a Sh255 billion loan disbursement to Kenya by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The debt added on taxpayers’ shoulders attracted criticism from Kenyans online, who took to Twitter to ask the IMF to rescind their decision of giving Kenya the loan.

By George Maringa and Brian Okoth.

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