Kenyan opposition figure charged with treason over Odinga's 'swearing in'

Miguna Miguna

Kenyan police on Tuesday charged a politician over witnessing the mock inauguration last week of opposition leader Raila Odinga, an event the government considers treason, while the passports of more than a dozen opposition leaders were suspended.

Separately, a court ordered police to halt attempts to arrest at least three Nation Media Group journalists.

He was charged with "being present and consenting to the administration of an oath to commit a capital offence, namely treason", says the charge sheet quoted by Reuters.

Campaigning lawyer Miguna Miguna was arrested on Friday in a dawn raid on his home. He was granted bail of 50,000 Kenyan shillings ($500) but has remained in police custody with his whereabouts unknown - something Kenya's lawyers' association said breached his rights.

Miguna told a magistrate there that he can not take a plea in the court because "Justice Luka Kimaru is waiting for me at the Milimani Law courts in Nairobi".




"I will not get out of this court until he is released", he said, as people in court shouted: "We want Miguna!"

The court order last Friday came two days after authorities switched off transmitters while Citizen TV, Inooro TV, Kenya Television Network and Nation were broadcasting live coverage of the mock inauguration in the capital Nairobi. His supporters in the opposition stronghold of Kisumu city in western Kenya clashed with police, who fired tear gas at them. A police spokesman said he was not aware of his detention. A government official, who asked not to be named, confirmed its authenticity. Kenyatta won a repeat poll in October after Odinga boycotted it, saying it would not be fair.

The free-to-watch channels which were shut down are still not back on air.Furthermore, the opposition claims their MPs and prominent voices are being arrested and held "incommunicado."The Kenyan government has so far declined to comment about the TV station shutdown despite numerous requests from CNN".

Justice Kimaru had earlier on Monday summoned Boinnet and DCI to appear in court at 2pm to show cause why they should not be cited for contempt for failing to comply with orders issued.

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