20 October 1997


Magistrate orders prison authorities to produce jailed journalist in court

Incident details

Palazh Krishnanunni Raja


legal action

(NDIMA/IFEX) - On 17 October 1997, a Nairobi court ordered that
detained journalist Palazh Krishnanunni Raja, an Indian national,
be produced in court on Thursday 23 October 1997. Senior resident
Magistrate Sammy Muiruri ordered prison authorities to ensure
that Krishnannuni be brought before him on that day. The order
was made after an application by defense lawyers who had sought
the journalist's appearance in court for the purpose of applying
for his release on bail. He is charged with being in Kenya
illegally, failing to register as an alien and engaging in
employment without a permit.

**Updates IFEX alerts dated 14, 3, and 1 October 1997**

Background Information

Palazh Krishnanunni Raja was charged on 3 October 1997 in
connection with the publication of an article he wrote entitled
"The Life and Times of Joshua Kulei" which was published in the
20 September edition of "The Times". The article stated that
Kulei, a Presidential aide, has amassed a personal fortune that
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.
Several days before Raja's arrest, Joe Karuiki, publisher of "The
Times" and "The Rift Valley", and Joseph Agola, director of the
printing firm which prints the newspapers, were charged with
publishing a defamatory article (see IFEX alerts).


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