BLOGGER JAILED FOR FOUR MONTHS FOR DEFAMING SAFARICOM CEO.

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Controversial blogger Cyprian Nyakundi before Justice Mwihaki Njuguna (FILE PHOTO).

BY SAM ALFAN.

Controversial blogger Cyprian Nyakundi has been fined Sh300,000 or to serve four months’ imprisonment for disobeying court orders prohibiting him from repeatedly defaming Safaricom boss Bob Collymore on social media.

High Court Lucy Mwihaki ruled that Nyakundi intentionally defied orders requiring him to present himself for mitigation and sentencing and gave no justifiable reasons for his non-attendance on three previous occasions.

The Judge, who found him guilty of contempt of court last December 1, observed that the blogger had demonstrated he had no respect for court orders and had been pardoned after he undertook to honour the restrictions imposed on him.

The court could not condone flagrant abuse of its authority and dignity, she said.

Justice Mwihaki dismissed Nyakundi’s plea for leniency on grounds that he was remorseful and was willing to appear in court before the court issued an arrest warrant against him on February 8. He had asked for a non-custodial sentence, saying he was not a flight risk.

Nyakundi had been allowed the opportunity to file sworn statements but lawyer Nani Mungai, representing the aggrieved corporate executive, protested there was no plausible reason to justify his continued vilification on Collymore on his personal blog.

Mungai had applied for the warrant of arrest on the basis that he had not demonstrated any remorse.

Collymore was seeking orders to have Nyakundi committed to civil jail for six months for disobeying an injunction issued on July 18, last year, blocking him from publishing defamatory articles concerning corruption in the media industry in Kenya.

The blogger reportedly carried the offending story on August 1, last year, and failed to apologize and withdraw it.

 In her ruling on December 1, last year Justice Mwihaki had dismissed Nyakundi’s assertion that he did not maliciously discredit the Safaricom CEO or cast aspersions on his credibility and reputation. Similarly, she threw out his assertion that the court order was not served on him personally.

Justice Mwihaki Njuguna observed that the integrity of the judicial process was likely to be undermined after Collymore’s lawyers complained that Nyakundi has repeatedly posted tweets on his personal platform in total disregard of court sanctions.

However, Nyakundi claimed it was unprocedural to introduce new evidence on a matter that was pending adjudication.

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