The government has been ordered to pay Standard Media Group Sh5 million as compensation for police raid on its premises seven years ago.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi said that the government failed to justify the raid and was in breach for failure to present equipment seized from the listed media firm to magistrates court immediately violated the company’s rights.
The judge also ordered the government to pay the legal cost incurred by the firm.
Police raided the company’s premises on midnight of March 2006 and seized transmission equipment and computers of the media group’s TV unit, KTN.
The government said the raid, which was carried out by the police and the so-called Artur brothers, was linked to national security. The Artur brothers were expelled from Kenya on allegations that they were con men and drug traffickers.
“I have come to the conclusion that the search and seizure carried out by agents of the respondents against the petitioners on the night of 2nd March 2006 was arbitrary and in breach of the petitioners’ rights under Section 76 and 79 of the former Constitution,” ruled Justice Ngugi.
The judge said the compensation of the seized equipment will be handled in a separate suit. On punishment, the judge said: “The situation has changed considerably for the better … I see no need to unduly burden the taxpayer by way of high awards in damages.”