Police arrest, detain and assault Star journalist over a fraud story, Scribe released 8 hours later

Written By Michael Maunda on Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 3:40 AM

Police arrest, detain and assault Star journalist over a fraud story, Scribe released 8 hours later
Three CID officers based at Kisumu central police station on Wednesday arrested Star Journalist Justus Ochieng and detained him for eight hours over a story.

The officers allegedly tortured Ochieng for unknown reasons.

Ochieng was arrested while following up on a case over which three flying squad officers had earlier threatened him on his way from Star dishes hotel. One of the officers who arrested him was among the three flying squad officers.

A CID officer only identified as Juma who booked the matter in the occurrence book at the station said Ochieng was arrested for libel.

Early in June, Ochieng wrote a story when the lawyer of a lady allegedly swindled of Sh19.6 million by former IEBC CEO James Oswago issued a statement.

The CID officers under the command of former DCIO Henry Ndombi had earlier tried to arrest Ochieng for the alleged libel but later dropped the matter.

Journalists who went to the station to inquire about Ochieng's arrest were also roughed up by the same officers.

“You will know that we also have testicles like you,” one of the offices whom the journalists can positively identify said holding the pistol on his waist.

Nyanza Regional Coordinator Charles Narangwi, Kisumu County Commander Nelson Njiri and DCIO Kieta said Ochieng was arrested following a directive from the DPP's office.

Sources within the office however denied the claim saying their boss was not aware of the directive.

Efforts to have Ochieng released on bond were futile until 1am. Naragwi had insisted that Ochieng could not be set free if he insisted that he was assaulted by the CID officers but he was later released on a free bond.

Kisumu Journalist Network members chairman Dickson Odhiambo and secretary general Allan Odhiambo termed the incident unconstitutional.

Journalists camping at the station accused police of victimizing them whenever they write about crime stories in Kisumu.

Kisumu Several Nyanza MPs who contacted the network and Kisumu MCAs condemned the arrest.

They advised Oswago to sue the Star publication if he feels aggrieved by a story instead of subjecting Ochieng to torture.

Kisumu Residence Voice Association Chairman Audi Ogada said the police were simply diverting attention from their criminal activities especially robbery. He said top officers are working in cohorts with junior officers to rob innocent Kenyans and intimidate journalists.

Journalists for Human Rights CEO William Khayoko accused police of exercising impunity by denying Ochieng a bond or cash bail. He said the police infringed on Ochieng's constitutional right when they denied him bail.

“Whatever the police did suggests a vendetta because the journalist had raised a complaint against the same officers who arrested him,” Khayoko said.

Source: the Star
Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 00:00 -- By MAURICE ALAL
The Star reporter Justus Ochieng recording statement at Kisumu Central Police Station after three CID officers allegedly assaults him after his arrest on Wednesday.Photo/JUSTUS OCHIENG
The Star reporter Justus Ochieng recording statement at Kisumu Central Police Station after three CID officers allegedly assaults him after his arrest on Wednesday.Photo/JUSTUS OCHIENG
Three CID officers based at Kisumu central police station on Wednesday arrested Star Journalist Justus Ochieng and detained him for eight hours over a story.
The officers allegedly tortured Ochieng for unknown reasons.
Ochieng was arrested while following up on a case over which three flying squad officers had earlier threatened him on his way from Star dishes hotel. One of the officers who arrested him was among the three flying squad officers.
A CID officer only identified as Juma who booked the matter in the occurrence book at the station said Ochieng was arrested for libel.
Early in June, Ochieng wrote a story when the lawyer of a lady allegedly swindled of Sh19.6 million by former IEBC CEO James Oswago issued a statement.
The CID officers under the command of former DCIO Henry Ndombi had earlier tried to arrest Ochieng for the alleged libel but later dropped the matter.
Journalists who went to the station to inquire about Ochieng's arrest were also roughed up by the same officers.
“You will know that we also have testicles like you,” one of the offices whom the journalists can positively identify said holding the pistol on his waist.
Nyanza Regional Coordinator Charles Narangwi, Kisumu County Commander Nelson Njiri and DCIO Kieta said Ochieng was arrested following a directive from the DPP's office.
Sources within the office however denied the claim saying their boss was not aware of the directive.
Efforts to have Ochieng released on bond were futile until 1am. Naragwi had insisted that Ochieng could not be set free if he insisted that he was assaulted by the CID officers but he was later released on a free bond.
Kisumu Journalist Network members chairman Dickson Odhiambo and secretary general Allan Odhiambo termed the incident unconstitutional.
Journalists camping at the station accused police of victimizing them whenever they write about crime stories in Kisumu.
Kisumu Several Nyanza MPs who contacted the network and Kisumu MCAs condemned the arrest.
They advised Oswago to sue the Star publication if he feels aggrieved by a story instead of subjecting Ochieng to torture.
Kisumu Residence Voice Association Chairman Audi Ogada said the police were simply diverting attention from their criminal activities especially robbery. He said top officers are working in cohorts with junior officers to rob innocent Kenyans and intimidate journalists.
Journalists for Human Rights CEO William Khayoko accused police of exercising impunity by denying Ochieng a bond or cash bail. He said the police infringed on Ochieng's constitutional right when they denied him bail.
“Whatever the police did suggests a vendetta because the journalist had raised a complaint against the same officers who arrested him,” Khayoko said.
- See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/police-arrest-detain-and-assault-star-journalist-over-fraud-story-scribe-released-8-hours-later#sthash.b7ijVEQX.dpuf