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Court bars BBC from airing negative stories on Wetang'ula

24 December 2015, 08:09 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - Bungoma Senator, Moses Wetang'ula got reprieve after a Nairobi court blocked the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) from televising or publishing any negative stories linking him to BAT bribery claims.

A Milimani court judge, Nicholas Ombija who presided over a defamatory case filed by Wetang'ula's lawyer, James Orengo, ordered BBC to desist from airing any negative story against the Bungoma Senator because the matter was pending before court for hearing.

Ombija who directed that the case be heard on January 7, 2016 said he was satisfied with the filed defamatory suit.

Wetang'ula on Tuesday sued BBC for linking him to BAT bribery scandal after it defied a 48-hour ultimatum he had issued the broadcaster to apologize in November.

Orengo told the court that his client was defamed by BBC's program dubbed 'Panorama', which alleged that the former Trade minister solicited an air ticket to London for his wife.

Orengo added that his client has suffered from unjustified attacks from his political rivals and civil society as a result of defamatory articles published by BBC.

Read Also: MP wants Wetang'ula to resign over BAT bribery saga

Orengo, who is also the Siaya Senator submitted that BAT has distanced itself from the alleged bribery claims hence the need for BBC to stop publishing or televising negative stories against his client.

"It is difficult for the Senator to perform his duties and functions under the cloud of defamatory story which is causing him stress, anxiety and embarrassment," Orengo told the court, arguing that the exposé was false and malicious.

The BBC exposé also claimed that NARC-Kenya Leader, Martha Karua received about KES 7 million bribe from BAT to help block a rival firm from winning a multi-million contract.

Karua admitted that she received a KES 2 million donation to fund her 2013 presidential campaign from Paul Hopkins, affiliated with BAT, but objected claims that the money was in exchange for government favours.

Karua has also said she is ready to be investigated over the BAT bribery allegations in an effort to clear her name from any forms of corruption.

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