Australian Al-Jazeera reporter Peter Greste Sunday called on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi to pardon him and two colleagues handed three-year prison sentences, describing the Saturday court decision as “politically motivated”.
Greste, Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed were sentenced for broadcasting “false” news that harmed Egypt in a retrial on Saturday, with the shock ruling by the Cairo court drawing international criticism.
“In the absence of any evidence of wrongdoing, the only conclusion that we can come to is that this verdict was politically motivated,” Greste, who was tried in absentia after being deported early this year, said in Sydney.
“President Sissi now has an opportunity to undo that injustice, to correct that injustice. The eyes of the world are on Egypt.
“It is now up to President Sissi to do what he said he would do from the outset and that is pardon us if we were ever convicted.”
The three journalists were sentenced to between seven and 10 years in jail last year, but an appeals court in January granted them a retrial, saying the verdict had not been backed by evidence.
They were arrested in December 2013, months after the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and launched a deadly crackdown on his supporters.
The case has become an embarrassment for Sissi, who has said he wished the reporters had been deported rather than put on trial.
Greste vowed to use “every legal, political, diplomatic and social means” to fight Saturday’s verdict, which saw Fahmy and Mohamed — who were in court after being released on bail — taken into custody.
“We will continue to fight this using every available means open to us,” he said.
“This is about what this means for due process in Egypt. It’s about what it means for the rule of law in Egypt. It is also about what it means about freedom of the press and democracy in Egypt.”
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said her government would “do all that we can do help him clear his name,” referring to Greste.
“He’s not in Egypt so that could limit the legal processes that he can undertake,” Bishop told commercial broadcaster Channel Seven on Sunday.
“But most certainly, there is available a presidential pardon, and we made numerous representations to President al-Sissi in the lead-up to the appeal, in relation to the first trial, and now the retrial.”
Al-Jazeera English producer Baher Mohamed, left, Canadian-Egyptian acting Cairo bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy, centre, and correspondent Peter Greste at a court hearing in 2014 Picture: AP Photo/Heba Elkholy, By Agencies. Amal Clooney was in court to defend Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy and was to meet officials to press for his pardon An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced three Al-Jazeera English journalists to three years in prison, the last twist in a long-running trial criticised worldwide by press freedom advocates and human rights activists. Amal Clooney was in court to defend Mohammed Fahmy, a Canadian national, and was later due to meet government officials to ask for his pardon and deportation. Fahmy, who was released on bail at the start of the retrial in February along with Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed, said on Friday night that it was a “politicised trial” from day one. “If justice is to be served we should be acquitted as impartial journalists,” he added, The case against Fahmy, Mohammed and Australian journalist Peter Greste embroiled their journalism into the wider conflict between Egypt and Qatar following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. ￼Mohammed Fahmy was defended by Amal Clooney Hassan Ammar/AP ADVERTISEMENT It wasn’t immediately clear how the sentence would affect the three men. Greste, deported in February, spoke to Al-Jazeera from Sydney and criticised the verdict. Mostefa Souag, Al-Jazeera English acting director-general, also criticised the verdict, saying it “‘defies logic and common sense.” “The whole case has been heavily politicised and has not been conducted in a free and fair manner,” Souag said in a statement. “There is no evidence proving that our colleagues in any way fabricated news or aided and abetted terrorist organisations and at no point during the long drawn out retrial did any of the unfounded allegations stand up to scrutiny.” The case began in December 2013, when Egyptian security forces raided the upscale hotel suite used by Al-Jazeera at the time to report from Egypt. Authorities arrested Fahmy, Greste and Mohammed, later charging them with allegedly being part of Mr Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, which authorities have declared a terrorist organisation, and airing falsified footage intended to damage national security. Since Mr Morsi’s ouster, Egypt has cracked down heavily on his supporters, and the journalists were accused of being mouthpieces for the Brotherhood. Al-Jazeera and the journalists have denied the allegations, saying they were simply reporting the news. However, Doha has been a strong supporter of the Brotherhood and other Islamist groups in the greater Mideast. At trial, prosecutors used news clips about an animal hospital with donkeys and horses, and another about Christian life in Egypt, as evidence they broke the law. Defense lawyers – and even the judge – dismissed the videos as irrelevant. Nonetheless, the three men were convicted on June 23, 2014, with Greste and Fahmy sentenced to seven years in prison and Mohammed to 10 years. The verdict brought a landslide of international condemnation and calls for newly elected President Abdelfattah el-Sisi, who as military chief led the overthrow of Mr Morsi, to intervene. Egypt’s Court of Cassation, the country’s highest appeals court, later ordered their retrial, saying the initial proceedings were marred by violations of the defendants’ rights. Egypt deported Greste in February, though he remained charged in the case. Fahmy and Mohammed were later released on bail. Fahmy was asked to give up his Egyptian nationality by Egyptian officials in order to qualify for deportation. It’s not clear why he was deported, though Fahmy said he thinks Canada could have pressed Cairo harder on the matter. Angered by Al-Jazeera’s handling of the case, Fahmy has filed a lawsuit in Canada seeking $100 million from the broadcaster, saying that it put the story ahead of employee safety and used its Arabic-language channels to advocate for the Brotherhood. Al-Jazeera has said Fahmy should seek compensation from Egypt.
Nominated Senator Joy Gwendo who has been found guilty for disrespecting the party by the National Alliance (TNA).
BY SAM ALFAN.
The National Alliance (TNA) has found nominated Senator Joy Gwendo guilty of disrespecting the party and therefore decided to suspend her with immediate effect.
President Kenyatta’s party National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) had summoned senator Gwendo, Moses Kuria (Gatundu South MP) and Priscilla Nyokabi (Nyeri County MP) over their conduct in regards to the party’s philosophies and affiliations.
Mr Kuria is charged with incitement, hate speech and causing ethnic contempt in Facebook messages allegedly posted on May 16.
Gwendo now risks expulsion should the National Oversight Board find her guilty of allegations leveled against her.
The axe has fallen on Senator Gwendo as Nyokabi was set free for lack of evidence. Kuria’s fate hangs in the balance.
According to the committee’s ruling, signed by five members including Deputy Chair Washington Makodingo, the senator was de-whipped from all Senate committees and suspended from the party henceforth.
“The charged member (senator) is recommended to the National Oversight Board for expulsion from the party pursuant to Articles 4 (9) (b) and 32 (3) of the TNA constitution,” said the NDC ruling.
Johnston Sakaja (nominated), who is also the party chairman, lodged a complaint with the committee, questioning the conduct of Gwendo, which has brought the name of the party and the office she holds into disrepute contrary to Article 3 and 4 of the party’s constitution.
“The senator has been disrespectful to the Kisumu Branch, an organ of the party, contravening Article 32 (5) of the party’s law,” stated the committee.
The charges also censure Gwendo for advancing the ideologies of other parties.
“The charged member has actively supported the agenda of the opposition both within and outside Parliament contrary to Article 4 (8) (b) of the party’s constitution,” reads part of the charges.
But in a quick rejoinder, Senator Gwendo turned to her social media page and faulted the committee’s decision, expressing her disappointment and claims that she supports ODM.
“I am extremely disappointed with the ruling. The NDC did not give us the particulars of the charge and deliberately delayed judgment to hamper our appeal,” said Gwendo.
“This is a political decision reeking of tribal, gender and sectorial harassment, which must not be allowed to stand in the modern Kenya. I shall stand strong and resist ill-timed attempts to push me out of a party that I have clearly worked hard for and which I believe in.”
She questioned the committee, which has recommended for her expulsion and vowed that the efforts of mercenaries will come to naught and threatened to challenge the decision in court.
“I have instructed my battery of lawyers to take up this matter to ensure justice is done. Justice will and must be done,” Gwendo said.
Makodingo had indicated that the disciplinary measures that will be taken against the legislators, if found culpable, will include expulsion, suspension, removal from parliamentary committees or even payment of fines.
He said they may also be compelled to issue public apologies where it applies.
N Lawyer John Swaka leave Milimani law courts after he obtained orders restraining city county director of education from sacking the principal of Uhuru secondary school principal Andrew Obanga on Friday 18 August,2015..
BY SAM ALFAN.
Nairobi City County Director of Education has been restrained from sacking a secondary school principal in the county.
Justice George Odunga issued the orders halting the Director from removing Andrew O. Obanga as the principal of Uhuru Secondary School and replacing him with his deputy
The restraining order will remain in place pending hearing and determination of the suit.
School’s Board of management through lawyer John Swaka filed the application, saying that the Director has overstepped his mandate by verbally firing Obanga and replacing him with his deputy Duncan Juma.
Lawyer told the court that the director’s action to remove Mr Obanga from his position and replacing him with his deputy will destabilize and paralyze the smooth learning at the school
The move the court heard was done arbitrary, unfair and contrary to the law.
Mr Sakwa told the court that the board it was apprehensive the illegal removal of the principal will paralyze learning in the institution and may lead to students’ unrest when school reopens next week.
“The institution stands to suffer irreparable loss if the decision to remove the principal is upheld more so because he was overseeing the resolution of a land dispute involving an 18 acre piece of land belonging to the school”.
According to the board, powers to fire and hire is bestowed on the Teachers Service Commission Under the constitution.
The judge directed that the matter be heard on September 3
Two Narok county government Wildlife Services wardens Moses Kuiyoni (right) and Samuel Kishoyan, at Milimani law courts where they appeared before senior principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku after the court had issued arrest warrants in relation to the shooting of demonstrator issued on June 30th.The court lifted the warrant pending taking of plea on Wednesday next week on Friday 18 August, 2015.
BY SAM ALFAN.
Nairobi court has lifted a warrant of arrest against two Game warders linked with the shooting dead of a protester during demonstration against the Narok County Governor seven months ago.
Senior principal magistrate Martha Mutuku said that arrest warrant issued against Moses Kuiyoni and Samwel Kishoyan , but directed that they appear before Capitol Hill police station on Monday 31 for purposes of recording statements.
The two suspects through their lawyer Okongo Omogeni they told the court that they have presented themselves to court after running that a warrant of arrest had been issued.
Omogeni told trial magistrate, that it’s in good faith that the suspects have appeared in court and its upon the court to exercise its discretion and lift the warrant.
The court directed that the matter be mentioned on September 2 .
Last month while releasing Narok Senator Stephen Ole Ntutu and four MPs who are under investigations over chaotic demonstrations late January 2015 warned them to desist from taking part in any demonstration.
Earlier the DPP dropped incitement to violence charges against Senator Ntutu and four MPs Johana Ngeno (EmurwaDikir), Moitalel Kenta (Narok North), Korei Lemein (Narok South) and Patrick Ntutu (Narok West).
The five were discharged after the DPP found no evidence to prosecute them.
The DPP urged the court to release the five suspects on bond saying he had received information that chaos had erupted in Narok the same morning as residents protested the arrest of the politicians.
During the protests, one person was injured while businesses remained closed as angry youths barricaded roads leading to Narok Town.
EmbattledpreacherofNeno Evangelism pastor James Ng’ang’a before the Limuru court. BY SAM ALFAN. Its another trouble for embattled preacher of Neno Evangelism James Ng’ang’a after the city businessman slapped him with another suit. This is after High Court froze the accounts of the embattled preacher after businessman Geoffrey Ndung’u sued the Evangelist, accusing him of swindling him of Sh2.3 million.
According to documents filed in court, Ndung’u says he moved the funds from his account to one of Neno’s in April of 2012 after receiving prayers from Ng’ang’a for mental problems.
Ndung’u says he was on medication for a psychotic break when he transferred the funds and was therefore not in his right mind.
He says efforts by himself and his family to have the funds returned to them have borne no fruit, leading to the suit.
In his replying affidavit, Ng’ang’a denied any knowledge of the funds being transferred into his church’s account but argues that in the event they were, it was received as a gift and gifts are not refundable.
“If such money was deposited in the church’s account, it was deposited without coercion, inducement and was an absolute gift,” the affidavit reads.
The case is slated for mention on September 22.
Ng’ang’a has in the past few weeks made headlines after being accused of causing the death of Mercy Njeri by dangerous driving.
He is out on a Sh500,000 cash bail and on Wednesday got some form of reprieve when the court refused to order a DNA sample from him.
He has challenged the charge and the associated charges of conspiring to defeat justice and providing false information to a public officer in the High Court.
It’s alleged that on July 26, while driving a Range Rover, he collided with a car which Njeri was driving.
He has also been charged with fleeing the scene of the accident.
On August 20, Ng’ang’a formally denied the charges before Senior Resident Magistrate Timothy ole Tanchu at the Limuru Law Courts.
The State counsel had sought to have Ng’ang’a compelled to undergo DNA testing in a bid to match a blood sample taken from the driver’s seat of the Range Rover to him.
Ng’ang’a has denied being behind the wheel of the car when the accident occurred.
A lobby group has filed a petition to the High court to challenge the legality of the Affirmative Action Social Development Fund Act 2015.
The Institute for Social Accountability through lawyer Lempaa Suyiaka , says the Public Finance Management (AASDF) regulations 2015 is unconstitutional has it is aimed at complementing the CDF Act which declared illegal by the court.
The institute through lawyer Lempaa Suyiaka , told high court judge George Odunga that the new Regulations establishes institutions similar to the ones declared unconstitutional on February 20 2015 under the CDF Act saying there exist ulterior motives behind the new regulations.
“ The object and purpose of the regulations is to complement the CDF Act by allowing the 47 women members of parliament to control funds designated for executive functions and which in character are to be administered in the manner that the CDF is administered” said the lawyer .
In order to safeguard public funds the court should consider that are illegal frame work in new regulations.
He wants the court to halt the Treasury CS from releasing monies to any institution created under the Fund pending hearing and determination of the application for judicial review
He says if the application is not heard urgently, the 47 county women representatives will expend public money on unconstitutional purpose and in violation of the rule of law when proper structures, activities and institutions have not been in place.
The lawyer further seeks orders against AASFD board and the Affirmative Action Development County committee from transacting any business until the matter is determined by the court
He says the regulations are unconstitutional as they offend the principal of public finance, division and separation of powers.
According to the lobby group, Parliament has set aside Sh 2,030,000,000 in the financial year 2024/12015.
“I have diligently searched parliamentary and other public records and I have been unable to find any record that the regulations were approved by either the national assembly or the Senate “he says.
He wants a declaration be issued that anybody established by the new regulations is illegal as it is created without the authority of the law and in violation of the constitution.
High court has directed the suit filed by activists Peter Solomon Gichira to stop the implementation of two thirds gender rule until the transgender are included in the directive to be placed before the Chief Justice to appoint a bench to hear the petition.
Justice Odunga the matters raised in the matter are serious constitutional and fundamental issues that needs to be addressed by a bench of three or uneven number of judges.
“This matter is weighty and has implications of law that can be adjudicated by a single judge but the three best placed to make the determination” said Odunga
Peter Solomon Gichira wants the Court to declare that the Two Thirds Gender Rule does not necessarily refer to men and women but includes ‘others’.
In his suit Papers, Gichira argues that the constitution does not define gender as just woman and man but includes hermaphrodites or a third gender.
“It is as a result of the contrived understanding of the term Gender to only mean men and women that a lot of people who could collectively be in the Third Gender Group have ended up being denied enjoyments of their rights as protected in the constitution,” he said.
Gichira added that gender identity disorder is not a disability of any form but in which there is a disparity between a people’s assigned sex and expressed gender identity.
He wants the two gender rule to consider transgender people who haven’t been recognized, yet live in the society.
The two-thirds gender rule is a constitutional requirement stating that no more than two thirds of elective and appointive bodies are composed of the same gender.
Gichira claims that the allocation of the 47 County Seats to Women representatives was on the misconstrued conception that only women are eligible and weak to compete with men in the electoral field.
“A few people should not be left out because they are not seen as male or female but with equal priority with others,” he added.
He said the transgender have suffered severe prejudice and marginalization and their general standing and it was time for their recognition.
Through his Lawyer Gachie Mwanza, Gichira claimed that the National Assembly will move to speed to beat the August 2015 deadline imposed by the court which was in contravention of the rights of the transgender.
“Unless the application is heard and determined, the people for who, the Petition is brought will suffer utmost prejudice and will be locked out from accessing their rights,” said his lawyer Gachie Mwanza.
Gichira Wants the State to make the necessary legal amendments to the constitution for allocation of special seats both Elective and Appointive positions.
Earlier High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi directed the matter to be placed before Justice Weldon Korir for further directions.
Audrey Mbugua as a interested party on a suit filed by activists Peter Solomon Gichira to stop the implementation of two thirds gender rule until the transgender are included in the directive.
This after Audrey through her lawyer Colbert Ojiambo successfully applied through an oral application that Audrey be enjoined in the suit in which human rights activist Solomon Gachira have filed seeking orders to restrain the A.G from implementing the gender rule as earlier given by the court.
Justice Weldon Korir allowed the application by Audrey and directed the AG to file his response within 21 days.
Justice Korir declined to issues any orders saying the orders sought by the human rights activist Solomon Gachira cannot be granted at this stage.
He told his lawyer the matters raised in the matter are serious and he’s considering to place the matter before the Chief Justice to appoint the three judge bench so the issues of gender can be solved once for long.
Both Attorney General and human rights activist Solomon Gachira did not oppose the application but AG opposing the issuing of any order restraining him from implementing Justice Mumbi Ngugi directive dated June 26 the AG, senate and national assembly are under immense pressure to implement the one third to two third gender representation principle in the national assembly and the senate before August 27.
Earlier Nairobi based civil activist Okiya Omtatah has filed an application seeking to stop the execution a judgment on the two third gender rule.
Omtatah wants the court to suspend the orders of Justice Ngugi Mumbi directing compliance of Supreme Court’s advisory opinion.
He says that advisory opinion by the Supreme Court was an error which could lead to amending the constitution to allow the application of principles of the one third to two third gender representations in the national assembly and the senate.
He argues that the constitution of Kenya 2010 was enacted in the historical context in which provisions implementing the requirement for proportional gender representation which existed in the Bomas and Wako and several harmonized drafts were removed before the constitution was ratified.
Omtatatah submits that with that removal the issue of gender representation became a political and not judicial issue, sayi9ng the court had no jurisdiction to order AG and CIC to comply with Supreme Court advisory opinion on gender balance.
“The court of law has no capacity or jurisdiction to order the re-introduction into the constitution the provisions which the sovereign people themselves rejected” he says
He says the following the advisory opinion and the order of Justice Mumbi dated June 26 the AG, senate and national assembly are under immense pressure to implement the one third to two third gender representation principle in the national assembly and the senate before August 27.
The move taken by the AG, senate and national assembly requires the amendment of the constitution to remove to the political interest which violates the supreme law.
The application by the activist will be placed a duty judge this afternoon for orders and directions.
AG and CIC were taken to court over failure to table the relevant Bills to facilitate the implementation of the two thirds gender rule.
The Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) filed an urgent application seeking order to compel the AG and CIC to act as required by the constitution.
According to CREW as it told the court the constitution requires that as a precursor to parliament discharging the obligation, first (AG) and (CIC)ought to prepare the relevant bills for tabling before parliament as soon as reasonably practicable to enable parliament to enact the legislation within the period specified,” the organization through lawyer Judy Thongori stated. Creaw through its executive director Ann Njogu further wanted the court
to declare that the AG and CIC have failed in preparing the bills and a further declaration that their actions are a threat and in violation of the constitution.
“Article 27(8) of the constitution demands that in addition to the measures contemplated in clause (6), the state shall take legislative and other measures to implement the principle that not more than two
thirds of the members of elective or appointed bodies shall be of the same gender,” she pointed out.
Analyst claims Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s email scandal could hurt her bid for the U.S. presidency in 2016, and the question is how much, experts said. The issue has been making headlines in months, yet it’s only recently that the Federal Bureau of Investigation began looking into whether classified information was wrongly handled since Clinton used a private email account and server as state secretary under President Barack Obama. Indeed, it could damage her campaign if the Republican Party successfully craft a narrative that paints a picture of what is, in their opinion, a secretive Clinton who plays by her own rules, experts said. So far, Clinton has made statements that have not helped her, dismissing the issue with humor recently that many deemed inappropriate due to the gravity of the allegations.
While leaving at the end of a recent press conference, Clinton raised her hands high above head and shrugged her shoulders in a gesture to critics, rightly or wrongly, billed as a sign that Clinton believes the scandal is of minimal importance, said the critics. Whether or not Clinton believes the problem will go away, Republicans are sure to use the controversy to their advantage and go on the attack in an effort to gain maximum media exposure on the issue.
“The Republicans will ensure that it will not go away. And as it plays frequently in soundbites and newspaper headlines, the public will not be allowed to forget it,” Harlan Ullman, chairman of the Killowen Group and senior adviser at the Atlantic Council, told Xinhua. Brookings Institution’s senior fellow Darrell West told Xinhua that the email scandal has hurt Clinton. “It has raised old doubts about her honesty and integrity, and this has weakened her favorability numbers,” he said. “How she does depends on whether other Democrats get into the race. If Vice President Joe Biden enters the campaign, that would be a major challenge to her nomination.
That would give Democrats a viable alternative to her if this scandal does not go away,” he added. But the elections are still a year away, and it’s possible that U.S. media will tire of the scandal as the election gets closer and focus more on the excitement and major historic possibility of America electing the first female president. Aside from the email scandal, Clinton is facing challenges from other Democratic candidates.
A Nairobi court has issued a warrant of arrest against two Game warders linked with the shooting dead of a protester during demonstration against the Narok County Governor seven months ago.
Senior principal magistrate Martha Mutuku issued the arrest warrant
for Moses Kuiyoni and Samwel Kishoyan following application by senior
state counsel Daniel Karuri the Director of Public Prosecution has
recommended their prosecution in connection with the shooting.
Karuri informed the court the DPP had earlier instructed Inspector
General Joseph Boinett to arrest and charge the two suspect with the
offence but they have not been arrested.
The magistrate granted the application and issued arrest order against the two suspects. She directed the case to be mention on August 31, for purpose of confirming the arrest.
Nairobi court warned Narok Senator Stephen Ole Ntutu and
four MPs who are under investigations over chaotic demonstrations late
January 2015 to desist from taking part in the alleged another planned
Earlier the DPP dropped incitement to violence charges against
Senator Ntutu and four MPs Johana Ngeno (EmurwaDikir), Moitalel
Kenta (Narok North), Korei Lemein (Narok South) and Patrick Ntutu (Narok West).
The five were discharged after the DPP found no evidence to prosecute them.
The DPP had urged the court to release the five suspects on bond
saying he had received information that chaos had erupted in Narok the
same morning as residents protested the arrest of the politicians.
During the protests, one person was injured while businesses remained
closed as angry youths barricaded roads leading to Narok Town.