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UoN students freed on Sh1m bond each

University of Nairobi students, who were arrested following violent Sonu election campaigns, will not be released without a surety of Sh1 million each, the court said.

The prosecution also preferred additional charges against the 12 from the university’s Lower Kabete Campus.

Six counts were added to the original three on Friday, prompting magistrate Joseph Karanja to direct that they plead afresh.

“We wish to substitute the charge sheet to include some more counts. Five counts of robbery with violence and another count of malicious damage to property,” prosecution counsel Dancun Ondimu told the court.

Court Clerk Vincent Owuor told them to be more attentive to the counts relating to robbery with violence.

“You have to listen to these counts carefully because the punishment is death,” he said.

They pleaded not guilty to all the nine counts. Previously, they were only charged with preparing to commit a felony, creating disturbance and being armed in public places.

The additional charges were introduced after a number of students reported to the police that they had been robbed of their phones and laptops by the accused.

It is alleged that on April 9 along Parklands Road in Westlands, they were found armed with dangerous weapons namely one Glock pistol, two kitchen knives and two pangas in circumstances that indicated they were armed with intent to commit felony.

However, the students got a major reprieve when the prosecutions’ application that they should be denied release on bail was declined. 

Serious charges

The prosecution had indicated that they were likely going to interfere with witnesses and may also fail to attend court due to the serious nature of their charges.

The magistrate said that all the reasons advanced were not sufficient to deny them release on bail. 

He directed that the students should be taken for medical treatment and that should be confirmed during their next appearance in court on Tuesday.

They said they had been beaten up by the police during the arrest.