Blogger Robert Alai to remain in custody for 14 days

Blogger Robert Alai to remain in custody for 14 days

A Nairobi court on Wednesday detained controversial blogger Robert Alai for 14 days pending investigations into a case where he is accused of disclosing information in relation to terrorism activities.

The court granted the duration to allow the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) complete their investigations, adding that the 30 days previously requested by the State was unduly long.

While delivering the directive, Magistrate Sinkiyian Tobiko said he found merit in Alai’s continued detention based on an argument by the prosecution about the possibility of communication between himself and suspected terror elements.

Magistrate Tobiko added that further directions shall be given based on progress of the prosecution after the 14-day period.

The prosecution had requested for time to allow a team of forensic examiners go through the phones of Alai to figure out who shared the photos with him.

The defense, however, argued that the State was incapable of keeping Alai in great care while in custody saying he had been denied food following his arrest and had to use his own money to get it when he was finally allowed.

According to Alai’s lawyer, he is not an officer hence should not be treated as a person of interest since he couldn’t possibly have been at the scene where the photos were taken.

The defense team further stated that despite the outspoken blogger being a family man, he also runs a digital office as a consultant with 10 employees who all look up to him.

Alai was apprehended on Monday morning and taken to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on Kiambu Road for interrogation over photos posted on his social media of police officers killed in a terrorist attack in Wajir County last Friday.