Linturi to sue for damages after DPP drops incitement charges

Meru Senator Mithika Linturi at Nakuru court on January 11, 2022. [Harun Wathari, Standard]

The Nakuru Law Court has dismissed another incitement case against an MP.

Yesterday, Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti stopped the investigation into allegations of incitement against Meru Senator Mithika Linturi and allowed the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) to close proceedings against him.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) had requested more time to investigate Mr Linturi over incitement.

But yesterday when the case came up for the ruling on the application by DCI, State prosecutor Maureen Wambui told the court of the intention of the ODPP to close the case against Linturi and his Sh2million bail refunded.

“The miscellaneous file is marked as withdrawn as the prosecution has failed to prefer any charges against the suspect within the time allocated by the court,” ruled Nyaloti.

She noted that she had given the prosecution the last adjournment on January 26, 2022, and allowed them 15 days to conclude investigations.

Ms Wambui informed the court that the DCI failed to cover areas instructed in their investigations within the court’s allocated time and there was no reason to continue holding Linturi hostage.

The detectives were to compile cyber-forensic analysis and record statements from potential witnesses.

She however said that if charges are preferred against Linturi, he will take a plea. “In the meantime, the file can be closed as we have no charges preferred against the suspect, as we await the investigating officer to cover the remaining areas of investigations,” said Wambui.

Linturi’s lawyer Elias Mutuma said the prosecution’s move confirmed their fears that the case was a political move by the government to intimidate Linturi.

“It was a move to silence my client and intimidate him to change his political stand. It is not fair for the Senator, me, and the court to be dragged for over a month wasting time on a case that never was,” said Mutuma.

He faulted the DCI for not making up their mind before they arrest individuals, parade, and detain them without preferred charges.

“The DCI must be warned that they have a duty to do their work of protecting the law,” said Mutuma.

Speaking to The Standard after the ruling, Mutuma said they are intending to file a case at the Nakuru High Court to seek damages.

He said he wants the High Court to declare that Linturi’s rights were violated during his arrest, detention, and his presentation to the court.

“We will not stop here and we are not afraid. They shamed Linturi when they illegally arrested him. We will fight for damages,” he said.

Linturi who spoke to The Standard warned the DCI not to be used in political rows to unlawfully intimidate leaders.

He condemned the manner in which he was arrested and brought to court and the delay in investigations.

“The resources used to arrest me should have been put to better use by the State,” he said.

The Senator was alleged to have made incitement remarks at a rally attended by Deputy President William Ruto on January 8.