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Kenyan presidential aspirant Senator Wetangula has a case against BBC court rules

Senator Moses Wetangula. PHOTO/COURTESY
By Our  Reporter
newsdesk@reporter.co.ke
Presidential hopeful Moses Wetang’ula has a case against the BBC, a court has ruled in Nairobi,Kenya. The Bungoma senator who also obtained a gag order against the broadcaster has sued for defamation.
A judge ruled that he had established an arguable case for determination since a report that linked him to corruption held his repute in jeopardy.
“It is clear at this stage that the reputation of the applicant is held in jeopardy, Justice Beatrice Thuranira said but added that “proof” to be determined in the hearing.
She said the case met the threshold for a hearing and asked parties to get dates at the registry for a pre-trial mention.
She reiterated that “freedoms are not absolute” and dismissed opposing evidence that had been presented in the interlocutory proceedings by two BBC staff.
“Third parties may have used the applicant’s authority without his knowledge to gain benefit,” the judge ruled.
She said that an e-mail that tallied with that of a bodyguard of Mr Wetang’ula was not an appropriate basis to link him to a corruption scandal.
“Just mentioning a name does not necessarily connect the applicant with a bribery scandal, it is clear that at this stage that the reputation of the applicant was in jeopardy,” she said.

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