Tiaty MP William Kamket acquitted of incitement charges

Tiaty MP William Kamket.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Tiaty MP William Kamket was on Monday acquitted of incitement to violence charges for lack of evidence.

Nakuru Chief Magistrate Ednah Nyaloti dismissed the criminal case against Mr Kamket and acquitted him after the prosecution failed to produce witnesses.

Mr Kamket, who was arrested on September 8 last year in connection with clashes that rocked the Laikipia Nature Conservancy, had denied inciting the communities in Ol Moran to rise up against one another.

Prosecutors alleged the MP had on July 16, 2021, during a meeting held in Amaya in Tiaty constituency, Baringo County, uttered words that were aimed at inciting hatred between different communities in the area.

But in her ruling, the magistrate regretted that the prosecution was not ready to proceed with the case despite being given sufficient opportunity to prepare.

The magistrate said prosecutors, upon charging Mr Kamket, were granted at least five adjournments to produce exhibits and witnesses before the trial could begin but failed to do so.

After squandering the last chance on June 21, prosecutors sought to withdraw the case. That would allow them to re-arrest the suspect after his acquittal once they get the evidence.

State counsel Maureen Wambui told the court that she could not proceed with the hearing because crucial witnesses could not be found.

Tiaty MP William Kamket (left) with his lawyer Benard Kipkoech Ngetich briefing the press outside the Nakuru Law court after being acquitted of Incitement Charge on June, 27, 2022

Photo credit: Joseph Openda | Nation Media Group

The court heard that the investigating officer was unable to find the whereabouts of the witness, who had relocated.

The application was, however, opposed by Mr Kamket’s lawyer Kipkoech Ngetich, who persuaded the court to free his client.

Mr Kipkoech argued that prosecutors were using the court to hold his client hostage for more than nine months without any evidence to support the charges they brought against him.

The court ruled that prosecutors had failed to provide sufficient reasons to warrant the grant of the orders they sought in their application.

“The prosecution must demonstrate that there are convincing reasons for them to be granted the request to withdraw the case under section 87(a). This case is therefore dismissed for want of prosecution and the accused person is thus acquitted,” ruled Ms Nyaloti.

Reacting to the ruling, lawyer Ngetich lauded the court for upholding the law and termed the decision a major win for the Constitution.

“I want to thank the magistrate for making it clear that the police cannot arrest a suspect without evidence and seek to withdraw the case later under section 87. The ruling is a big win in the promotion of the rule of law,” said Mr Ngetich

Mr Kamket indicated his intention to sue for damages for malicious arrest and prosecution.

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