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Sonko denies terrorism charges

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko was on Thursday granted temporary freedom by a Kahawa court after he denied terrorism-related charges.

Sonko was released on either a Sh1 million cash bail or Sh500,000 bond.

The court also ruled the former City Hall boss should deposit his passport in court and should not interfere with witnesses.

It set his pretrial mention for June 22.

Sonko’s co-accused were also released on a surety bond of Sh500,000 or a cash bail of Sh200,000 each.

Earlier, a Nairobi anti-corruption court Chief Magistrate at the Kahawa Law Courts, Diana Mochache ordered a psychiatric examination of Sonko before he can stand trial in a Sh14 million graft case.

His defense lawyers led by John Khaminwa told the court that Sonko is not mentally fit to follow proceedings based on a medical report from a consultant mental psychiatrist.

According to the mental assessment report from the consultant, the Nairobi governor is unfit to stand trial, and therefore, cannot follow proceedings.

Sonko, who is facing several cases in various courts, was hospitalized in Nairobi Hospital three weeks ago.

Trial Magistrate Peter Aoko said the test must be conducted at a public facility preferably the Kenyatta National Hospital.

The magistrate issued the orders after his lawyer cited an independent psychiatrist and informed the court that their client was unfit to stand trial.

The magistrate ordered that the report from the government psychiatrist be filed in court on or before March 12.

Sonko was presented in court by officers from the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) following orders issued by two courts.

He was accompanied by paramedics and an AAR ambulance was on standby during the entire court appearance.

As the proceedings continued, a nurse who accompanied the former Nairobi governor to court kept checking his blood pressure.

The former Nairobi Governor’s woes deepened in February after he went public about an alleged scheme in 2017 to paint the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) in a negative light by funding and facilitating chaos attributed to opposition party supporters jointly with Interior Principle Secretary Karanja Kibicho.

Kibicho who denied the claims recorded a statement with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations subsequently leading to Sonko’s arrest.

The State preferred terrorism charges against Sonko but is yet to charge him with ATPU asking for time to complete an ongoing investigation.