Sonko freed after denying terror-related charges

Embattled former Nairobi county governor Mike Sonko has overcome the first hurdle after the anti-terrorism court in Kahawa-West released him on a Ksh1 million bond with similar surety after denying four counts related to terrorism.

Sonko was charged alongside Clifford Ochieng Ouko and Benjamin Onyango Odhiambo who have each been released on a bond of Ksh200,000.

Chief Magistrate Diana Mochache also ordered Sonko to maintain peace and not organize any gatherings. However, owing to other counts, among them corruption cases, the former Nairobi governor is still a caged man and thus, remains in custody.

In the first count, it is alleged that Sonko knowingly recruited unknown persons to participate in the commission of a terrorist act contrary to section 6 of the prevention of terrorism Act.

The Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) claimed Sonko was donning military attire for commission of a terrorism act.

He was also charged with three counts of possession of property for commission of a terrorism act.

Together with his co-accused, they are expected to deposit their travel documents with the court and not contravene bond terms pretrial for the case is slated for 22nd of June.

Earlier, the Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti has declined an application by Sonko to recuse himself from hearing Ksh14 million graft case against the latter.

The magistrate stated that there is no evidence put before him to show that he is biased and that the complainant will not get justice, asserting that Sonko asking the court to recuse itself amounts to a threat.

“I do find no evidence of bias and hereby dismiss the application for it has no merit,” Ogoti stated in his ruling.

This is a major blow to Sonko’s defence team even as the court allowed an application by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to call one more witness to testify against the embattled former Nairobi Governor.

“All parties must submit to the rule of law. The same way this court holds the party with respect is the same way the court demands respect from the parties,” stated the magistrate.

Ogoti mentioned that all parties were involved in the pre-trial hearing, adding that the applicant had always been represented by able lawyers in the aforementioned sittings and such should not threaten a judicial officer.

The hearing of the matter will continue on March 15, 2021.






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