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Sudi case deferred as prosecution officer goes into quarantine over Covid-19

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi (right) with his lawyer Kipkoech Ng'etich before Senior Resident Magistrate Isaac Orenge at Nakuru law courts on October 7, 2020. [Julius Chepkwony, Standard]

A Nakuru court has adjourned the hearing of hate speech and offensive conduct case against Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi after one of the investigating officers went into self-isolation after coming into contact with a Covid-19 patient.

Yesterday, Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecution Daniel Karuri told Senior Resident Magistrate Isaac Orenge that the officer came into contact with a Covid-19 patient within Nakuru.

Karuri said that doctors advised the officer to self-quarantine for 14 days. 

“The officer cannot attend court today. I am not ready to proceed with the hearing of the case,” said Karuri.

He said that he didn’t have the police file to guide his case and that he needed the investigation diary from the officer.

Karuri added that he didn’t have witness statements that are in the possession of the IO.

This happened even as three witnesses attended court and were ready to testify.

The prosecution had lined up three police officers from the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) who were to testify against Sudi.

Sudi’s lawyer Kipkoech Ng’etich said the defence was ready to proceed with the case.

He said he had intended to cross-examine the police officers on video clips containing past speeches.

Kipkoech, however, didn’t object to Karuri's application for adjournment.

“We have no objection. However, we request the court to provide the defence with a screen and a projector during the trial as we intend to use it during cross-examination,” said Ng’etich.

The court allowed the application for adjournment.

Magistrate Orenge set December 4 as the new hearing date.

Sudi is charged with two counts of hate speech and one count of offensive conduct.

The MP has denied that he used threatening words on social media, which were likely to stir up ethnic hatred on September 7, 2020, at an unknown place within the Republic of Kenya.

He has also denied offensive conduct charges. He allegedly abused the president of Kenya.

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