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Youths who disrupted CORD rally acquitted

01 March 2013, 16:43 Ngarae Elias

14 youths charged with attempting to disrupt a rally organised by the CORD presidential candidate Raila Odinga in Embu have no case to answer, the court has ruled.

Embu senior principal magistrate Paul Biwott said the prosecution did not have enough evidence to support the charges.

He made the ruling after two witnesses failed to appear in court for the second time for hearing.

The magistrate said the case needed to be heard expeditiously as it was related to the General Election.

The court would have heard the testimony of Charles Wachira who is a pilot attached to Vice President Kalonzo and the police officer who investigated the matter but the two failed to show up in court.

An attempt by prosecutor Frank Munene to have the witnesses given another date flopped after the magistrate declined his request.

Witness only available after elections

Munene told the court that the pilot was the only one assigned to fly the VP in his campaigns and thus he could only be available after the elections.

He said the pilot was expected to testify that the accused threw stones at the VP’s helicopter while flying out of the Embu municipal stadium on February 15.

He said the investigating officer was also away testifying in another matter at the Nyeri High court.

However, the magistrate said the case must be heard fast so that a ruling can be arrived before March 4 General Election.

Clashing evidence

Defense lawyer Joe Kathungu had opposed the application for postmen stating that the pilot had no right to choose when to appear before the court.

He submitted that the 14 be acquitted as neither of the witnesses said that they had seen the suspects throwing stones.

“Prosecution witness number one said that the youths throwing stones were donning TNA T-shirts whereas the police who arrested them said that none of the accused was wearing any TNA T-shirt at the time of the arrest,” he told the court.

The accused were released on a KES 700 000 cash bail.

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