PRESS STATEMENT BY BONIFACE MWANGI LEGAL TEAM
On 30th September 2016, the Deputy President William Ruto acting through his duly appointed Advocate served a demand letter to Boniface Mwangi seeking among other things immediate publication of a suitable retraction, correction and apology of a tweet of 28th September, 2016 by Boniface Mwangi. The demand was that the apology was to be given a prominent coverage. The demand letter also sought an unconditional admission of liability for libel within seven(7) days.
On 5th October 2016, Boniface Mwangi’s legal team through GitobuImanyara& Co. Advocates responded to the demand letter stating that Boniface Mwangi has very real and compelling reasons for fearing that the Deputy President may wish to kill him and reserved the right to disclose these in court should the need the threatened legal action arise. The response further stated that Boniface Mwangi will seek to persuade the court that the Deputy President has no reputation worthy the indulgence of a court of justice either in Kenya or elsewhere.
On 7th October 2016, the Deputy President filed Milimani High Court Civil Suit No 264 of 2016 as threatened, served the suit papers on Gitobu Imanyara & Co. Advocates and thereafter served the Summons to Enter Appearance on 14th October 2016.
Today, 21st October 2016, Boniface Legal Team filed in court the Defence and Counterclaim against the Deputy President which inter alia states that the Deputy President WilliamRuto has no reputation to protect arising out of the indictment at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, documented land grabs—both public and private— and previous implication in corruption scandals, to support his claim.
The 36-page bundle of documents constituting Defence filed in court by Gitobu Imanyara& Co. Advocates on behalf of Boniface Mwangi,contains a counter-claim against Deputy President for defamation following comments that the Deputy President made on local media insinuating that Boniface Mwangi is a perpetual drunk, who routinely wakes up late to nurse a hangover.
Boniface Mwangi asserts that the ICC had found “sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe” that William Ruto, jointly with others, orchestrated “the crimes against humanity of murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population and persecution in Turbo town” on December 31, 2007, among other charges.
The defence further avers that “The decision to terminate the case against the plaintiff was due to disappearance of witnesses, intimidation of witnesses to recant testimony and lack of co-operation by Kenya…”
Lack of co-operation by Kenya, Boniface Mwangi went on, has since been referred to the Assembly of State parties that could see the UN’s Security Council impose sanctions on the country.
Boniface Mwangi states that the High Court reprimand of William Ruto in June 2013, when Lady Justice Rose Ougo restored Adrian Gilbert Muteshi’s 100-acre of land that Ruto had grabbed from him, among other disputes involving other public lands, is further evidence that his reputation is tarnished beyond redemption.
Boniface Mwangi insists that he merely restated Cyrus Jirongo’s assertion implicating Ruto in the murder of businessman Jacob Juma, a statement that Ruto acquiesced to insists Boniface,
In his defence, Boniface Mwangi further states that the freedom of expression, coupled with the corollary right to receive and impart information, is a core value of any democratic society deserving of the utmost legal protection.
As such, it is prominently recognised and entrenched in virtually every international and regional human rights instrument. As part of his defence, Boniface Mwangi states that suit filed by the Deputy President is intended to curtail his constitutional freedom of expression and to hold an opinion ahead of the 2017 General elections.
The defence and Counterclaim by Boniface Mwangi also opens less known claims, such as William Ruto’s alleged extra-marital liaison with an unnamed university student, who bore his baby on March 6th, 2006. William Ruto allegedly neglected to support the baby until court action was threatened against him.
This, Mwangi says, illustrates that the Deputy President lacks moral authority of a devout Christian. Mwangi restates his right to express his opinion as a public-spirited journalist and activist.