14 October 1997


Freelance journalist charged over allegedly defamatory article

Incident details

Palazh Krishnanunni Raja (Raja Krishna)


legal action

(NDIMA/IFEX) - Freelance journalist Palazh Krishnanunni Raja
(previously reported as Raja Krishna) was, on 3 October 1997,
charged in a Nairobi court in connection with a story which
appeared in the newspapers "The Times" and "Rift Valley Times"
about Presidential aide Joshua Kulei. Raja, an Indian national
and author of the article, faces two counts of being in the
country illegally and failing to register as an alien, as well as
working as a journalist without a permit. Raja, who was
unrepresented, denied all the charges.

**Updates IFEX alerts dated 3 and 1 October 1997**

The prosecution was conducted by an immigration official, Mr
Cyrus Omaria. Raja was remanded in custody and the case was to be
mentioned on 17 October. Hearing was fixed for 5 November.

Background Information

The article by Raja, entitled "The Life and Times of Joshua
Kulei", was published in the 20 September edition of "The Times".
The article stated that Kulei's "personal fortune is said to be
in excess of Sh30 billion and that he is arguably the only
`Zillionaire' ever to emerge from the Moi era." According to the
prosecution, the words were likely to injure the reputation of
Kulei by exposing him to hatred and contempt. Along with Raja,
Joe Kariuki, publisher of "The Times" and "The Rift Valley", and
Joseph Agola, director of a printing firm which prints the
newspapers, were charged with publishing a defamatory article
(see IFEX alerts).


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