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Court rejects demand for statements from Uhuru, Raila in leaked video case
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|Court rejects demand for statements from Uhuru, Raila in leaked video case by Kenyans247(1): Fri 06, November, 2020 01:54am|
A court has dismissed an application to compel President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga to record statements as prosecution witnesses in a case involving leakage of a CCTV footage that captured their entourage in Nairobi at night.
Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi found the application to be ‘baseless and frivolous’ because the prosecution reserves the right to decide which witness to call or not to call.
The magistrate said there is no law that requires the prosecution to call all witnesses who know about a case.
He ruled that the duty of the prosecution is to call sufficient and relevant witnesses to prove its case and the idea is for court to have sufficient evidence to arrive at a just decision.
“The prosecution indicated that they had supplied the defence with all the statements of witnesses they wished to rely on and had no intention of calling the Head of State or the former Prime Minister as witnesses,” noted the magistrate.
He made the ruling in the criminal case involving two Sarova Stanley Hotel contractors who are accused of intercepting a security CCTV footage capturing the Head of State entourage along Kenyatta Avenue Nairobi.
The accused Ms Janet Magoma Ayonga, a CCTV controller contracted at the hotel, and Mr Patrick Rading Ambogo, a security supervisor, are said to have committed the offence on June 2, 2020.
The magistrate said in their application, the defence failed to show relevance of the evidence of the President and Mr Odinga considering that they were not the ones manning the CCTV cameras or in charge of their own security.
The defence lawyers had also complained that the video clips that were supplied to them by the prosecution were not the original ones which the accused persons were said to have intercepted and shared.
The court heard that the prosecution gave the accused edited versions of the video clips prepared by the case Investigating Officer, whom they said had added his own images. The defence urged court to have a look of the video clips and give directions.
But the magistrate ruled that the invitation of the court to look at the evidence at that stage of the case was irregular.
“The prosecution witnesses have not yet started testifying and no evidence has been adduced before court. The defence cannot expect court to view the evidence now and decide whether the footage provided was the correct one or not,” said the magistrate.
Mr Ochoi ruled that it is not duty of the court to decide which evidence should be given or not by the prosecution because the court is meant to be an arbitrator and not a prosecutor.
“The defence should know at what stage to raise relevant objections in the event of discontent with evidence being tendered. The application to view the evidence in the CDs supplied to the defence at this stage is thus rejected,” ruled the magistrate.
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