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Witness claims life in danger in case against blogger Dikembe

A witness in the hate speech and incitement to ethnic violence case against blogger Seth Odongo, alias Dikembe Disembe, declined to testify in open court alleging that his life was in danger.

As a consequence, Mr Kelvin Onyanch asked trial the Milimani Chief Magistrate to record his evidence in camera since he is fearing for his life.

State prosecutor Mr Daniel Karuri on Tuesday asked Mr Francis Andayi to mention the case in his chambers to address the fears of the witness.

“Given the averment of the witness I urge this court to mention the case in chambers to address the emerging issue,” Mr Karuri pleaded while defence lawyers Alex Muchemi, Apollo Mboya and Nelson Havi sought an adjournment.

EXCITE AND INCITE

The blogger has been charged with with three counts of hate speech, ethnic contempt and incitement to violence. He has been accused of posting in his Facebook page content calculated to excite and incite feelings of contempt, hostility and violence against a certain coomunity ethnic in Lamu County.

He was arraigned in court on July 15, 2014 and released on a cash bail of Sh500,000.

Defence lawyer Mr Muchemi opposed the case being heard on Tuesday saying the prosecution has not supplied the accused with witness statement to enable him prepare his defence.

Three witnesses who have been listed to testify against the blogger are Mr Kelvin Onyanch, Mr James Mugo and Mr Robert Mabera.

The three defence lawyers and the prosecutor minus the accused proceeded to the chamber of Mr Andayi to thrash out the issues which cropped up in court.

After deliberation in the chambers of Mr Andayi all the parties agreed to adjourn the case to enable prosecution furnish the accused with witness statements.

ADJOURNED

Mr Andayi adjourned the case  to November 1, 2017.

He directed prosecution to furnish the accused with all witness statement and any other documents which shall be used as evidence in the case.