BY SAM ALFAN.
Political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi got a temporary reprieve in a hate speech case after a Nairobi court adjourned his trial to give him time to reconcile with his accusers.
Mr Ngunyi’s lawyers, Ms Jennifer Shamala and Mr Michael Amalemba, told the court that their client had written to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission to notify them of his intended reconciliation.
Political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi last year denied four charges of ethnic contempt and hate speech before a Nairobi court.
He was released on a Sh200, 000 cash bail.
Mr Ngunyi appeared in court after losing a bid to stop his prosecution by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
His lawyer, Ms Jennifer Shamalla, had argued that the intended prosecution was malicious and a violation of his rights.
Justice Joseph Onguto, however, declined to grant Mr Ngunyi temporary orders to stop the charges.
The DPP’s office had indicated there was evidence to charge Mr Ngunyi with ethnic contempt, contrary to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) Act.
On Wednesday, the trial court allowed Mr Ngunyi to pursue reconciliation and report his progress on March 1.
Ms Shamala said the Constitution has a “window” for reconciliation and Mr Ngunyi should be given an opportunity to exercise that right.
However, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko has opposed the move.
Through his assistant, Dr Leonard Maingi, the DPP wants the criminal case to proceed to a full hearing.
“The fact that they wrote a letter in December and are yet to get a reply speaks for itself,” Dr Maingi told the court.
“So we will approach NCIC with a view to start a reconciliation process”. Said Lawyer Shamala.
While asked if the political analyst will address a political rally with former prime minister, she said it won’t be appropriate for Ngunyi to so since he is not a politician.
“My client is not a politician, my client comment on political issues. He is a political science so, addressing political rallies with Raila wouldn’t be a good idea but i would be a good idea day to see him sitting with Raila and Luo Council of elders laughing together” said Shamala.
Mr Ngunyi was charged after losing a bid to stop his prosecution by the DPP.
The case rose from messages Mr Ngunyi allegedly posted on his Twitter page, disparaging Cord leader Raila Odinga and the Luo community.