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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 May, 2005, 09:45 GMT 10:45 UK
Kenya's first lady case blocked
Cameraman Clifford Derrick Otieno
Mr Otieno shows where the first lady slapped him
A private prosecution filed by a cameraman slapped by Kenya's first lady Lucy Kibaki has been blocked.

Cameraman Clifford Derrick Otieno went to court after the police failed to press charges and the first lady refused to apologise for her actions.

A Nairobi magistrate accepted a claim from the attorney general that the case had not been properly presented.

Mrs Kibaki slapped Mr Otieno two weeks ago as he filmed her outburst at the offices of the Daily Nation newspaper.

The first lady stayed at the offices overnight to complain about the paper's coverage of her row with a neighbour.

The president's office filed an official complaint to the Media Council over the coverage of Mrs Kibaki's appearance at the Nation's office.

Worry

The international pressure group, Reporters Sans Frontieres, has expressed concern about what it describes as mounting threats, harassment and attacks against the media in Kenya.

Mr Otieno had told the BBC's Swahili service that he wanted to take the first lady to court to deter others from assaulting journalists, saying he has been beaten four times during his career.

"I waited for a whole week, hoping for at least an apology from state house - in vain," he said.

The row started when Mrs Kibaki stormed into the house of outgoing World Bank Kenya director Mukhtar Diop three times, demanding that he turn the music down at his farewell party.

When this was reported by the Daily Nation, she went to its offices, surrounded by bodyguards, accusing the paper of dragging her name through the mud.

In the five hours she was there, she seized reporters' notebooks, tape recorders and mobile phones, and slapped Mr Otieno when he refused to stop filming her.



SEE ALSO:
Kenya's first lady storms paper
03 May 05 |  Africa


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