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Kenyan opposition politician charged over mock inauguration

07 February 2018

Miguna Miguna has refused to take plea in a Kajiado court where he was arraigned to face charges related to the illegal oath taken last month by NASA leader Raila Odinga.

Two other opposition lawmakers were also arrested and later released for their involvement in the ceremony.

Raila Odinga was sworn in by the Kenyan opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) party last week as "people's president" in the capital Nairobi.

Around 100 people were killed during the protracted election season, a lot of them Odinga supporters shot by the police.

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Miguna has been in police custody since Friday morning when he was arrested dramatically from his Runda house, which was extensively damaged.

According to the charge sheet, which Miguna's lawyers have dismissed as defective, he was charged with being present and consenting to the administration of an oath to commit a capital offense namely treason contrary to Section 59 (a) of the penal code.

The move prompted worldwide condemnation, with the United Nations later criticising Kenyan officials for failing to comply with a ruling by the country's High Court to lift the block on the channels.

"As soon as we serve the order this morning I expect the stations to be back on", he said.

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Following Mr Miguna's arrest and failure to charge him in court, the Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet and the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti had been ordered to appear in court to explain circumstances surrounding their failure to release the Nasa activist.

The activists were trying to march to government offices in central Nairobi when police fired the gas, a Reuters witness said. County Revenue Supervisor Frank Omondi confirmed the death. A government official, who asked not to be named, confirmed its authenticity.

Kenyatta won the August election, and won the repeat election in October as well after Odinga boycotted it, complaining it would not be fair.

Two Kenyan television stations have resumed broadcasting after being taken off air for plans to show a rally held by the country's opposition leader.

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"There is no way they can arrest our general and jail him for one week before presenting him to court", protester Denis Ouma said.

Kenyan opposition politician charged over mock inauguration