Blogger Alai Released on Sh300k Cash Bail But Faces Life Imprisonment If Found Guilty

Controversial blogger Robert Alai was on Tuesday charged with two counts, including treachery and disclosure of information, contrary to the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

The charges, which Milimani Principal Magistrate Francis Andayi termed as “serious”, could attract a life sentence.

According to the magistrate, treachery is akin to treason.

Alai, who has been in custody since June 19, is accused of sharing gory photographs of police officers, who were killed after an improvised explosive device went off in Wajir on June 14.

The law enforcement agents died while pursuing attackers who had raided a village in Konton and kidnapped three Kenya Police Reserve officers.

According to court documents, Alai committed the offences on June 17 at an unknown place with the intention of helping Al-Shabaab, a terrorist group.

The controversial blogger allegedly circulated the pictures on instant messaging platform, WhatsApp. Police say Alai’s commission was meant to interfere with Kenya’s public order.

Part 3, Section 19 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act Number 19 of 2014 says: “A person who, knowing or having reasonable cause to suspect that an officer is conducting an investigation under this Act— (a) discloses to another person anything which is likely to prejudice the investigation; or commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years.”

The treachery charge pushes Alai’s possible sentencing to life should he be found guilty.

Alai’s lawyer, Paul Muite, pleaded with the court to release his client on a “manageable” bail term.

Muite said Alai needed to reunite with his young family. The prosecution, on their part, did not object Alai’s release on bail conditions.

The suspect was released on a cash bail of Sh300, 000. The case will be mentioned on July 16, 2018 and a hearing will follow on August 8, 2019.

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