An extradition case against a Kenyan wanted in the US for operating an Internet-based child pornography syndicate has begun.
The Milimani Law Court in Nairobi on Monday heard that an international warrant of arrest has been issued against Mr Brian Musomba Maweu.
The US Department of Justice through its Nairobi embassy has also requested the Kenyan Government to hand over the “fugitive” also known as Catfish.
Mr Victor Mule, assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, told the court that Mr Maweu has been indicted before the US District Court in Louisiana for child exploitation and distribution of child pornography.
The Americans also want the seizure of the suspects property, “including articles and documents that may be found in his possession which may serve as further evidence or as proceeds he acquired through the offences for surrender with the fugitive” should the extradition be granted.
“The respondent is wanted to stand trial in the US…he is the subject of a criminal indictment in which he is charged with child pornography-related offences,” Mr Mule told magistrate Edda Agade.
A warrant of arrest issued on March 16, 2011 against Mr Maweu before the US court has been pending.
It is alleged that in 2009, an on-line profiling of child pornography bulletin board traced its administration to Mr Maweu.
“In January 2010 and June 2010 the Homeland Security obtained a search warrant and subsequent seizure of Bulletin Board A which indicated it was active with approximately 600 validated members…a member located in Africa named Catfish had posted messages to the site between June 2009 and June 2010,” the extradition bundles the prosecution presented in court on Monday read.
Mr Maweu is accused of knowingly participating in the advertisement and distribution of obscene material in three separate incidents.
“In order to advertise the child pornography, members would post a description of what they wanted and would be granted a password necessary to download the material,” the court papers read.
He allegedly paid a commercial web hosting company to host the site through a credit card traced to his accounts.
On Monday, the prosecution said it was not opposed to the suspect’s release on bond and the court released him on a cash bail of Sh1 million or an alternative of depositing a bond of Sh5 million with a surety of a similar amount.
A copy of the extradition bundle was also given to Mr Maweu and he was directed to submit his reply before July 14, when the case returns to court.