Blogger sharing pictures of slain KDF solders arraigned in Court

A blogger accused of posting pictures of allegedly slain Kenya Defence Force (KDF) officers on a Whatsapp platform was on Tuesday charged before a Kiambu Court.

A blogger accused of posting pictures of allegedly slain Kenya Defence Force (KDF) officers on a Whatsapp platform was on Tuesday charged before a Kiambu Court.

The arraignment of Eddy Reuben Illah, cemented the government’s resolve to prosecute social media alarmists spreading discontent among Kenyans.

Appearing before Principal Magistrate, Justus Kituku, the court heard that Illah posted the slain officers’ pictures who were said to have been attacked and killed at El Adde, Somalia knowing it to be grossly offensive on January 16, 2016 on a Whatsapp group dubbed ‘A Young People’s Union’.

Further the charge sheet disclosed that the said pictures were shared with the sole intent to cause needless anxiety to the family of the officers and the Kenyan citizen in general.

Illah was also charged with the improper use of the licenced telecommunication systems contrary to section 29 (a) of the Kenya Information and Communication Act.

Denying the allegations leveled against him, Illah’s Lawyer, Edwin Sifuna urged the court to release his client on a free bond pending the hearing and determination of his case.

“This is a case of pure harassment of my client. Let my client be released according to Article 49 of the Penal Code”, said Sifuna.

The government has issued a stern warning against bloggers who are using the blogosphere to fan hatred and evoke ethnic tensions.

The prosecution opposed the free bond application, saying the seriousness of the offence is what the law says and not the bond terms.

The Magistrate disagreed with the defense counsel, saying there were no compelling reasons to deny such a person bond bearing in mind the particulars of the offense.

Illah was released on a Shs. 100,000 with a similar surety or a cash bail of Shs. 50, 000 pending the mention of his case on February 2 and hearing slated for April 12, 2016.

By Yobesh Onwong’a

Source: Kenya News Agency