BY SAM ALFAN.
Former Anti-graft czar has suffered a major blow as the High Court ordered him to pay former powerful security Cabinet minister Chris Murungaru Sh27 million for defamation.
Justice Joseph Sergon ordered John Githongo to pay 20 million for damages, 5 million aggravated damages and 2 million exemplary damages and the amount to attract interests at court rates from today until full settlement.
“Having considered the rival proposals on damages and having taken into account the authorities cited, i am convinced that in both circumstances of this case the plaintiff (Chris Murungaru) should be awarded both general, aggravated and punitive damages”, ruled Judge Sergon.
The learned judge in his 29 judgement ruled that from evidence presented in court John Githongo intended to have the publication to be intensive, global in nature, with intensity and it appeared he wanted to inflict maximum damages to the former Kieni Member of Parliament.
Dr Murungaru had proposed to be paid 100 million for both general, aggravated and exemplary damages arguing that the intensity and worldwide scope of the publication is unrivaled. He further added that its dissemination was carefully planned and executed to inflict maximum damages to his reputation.
Murungaru testified that on November 22,2005 , John Githongo published and caused to be published a report or a statement which was referred to by print and electronic media as ” The Githongo Dossier” ostensibly addressed to former president Mwai Kibaki.
He claimed that upon reading the aforementioned report and words or statements, he was mentally anguished at adverse , malicious and baseless reference made on him and the publication caused consternation and anxiety among his constituents , family, friends , clergy and business.
The former minister further stated that the publication bwas not founded by any evidence linking him to corrupt dealings but instead the words consist of a pack of falsehoods , rumors , gossips and hearsay.