Kenyan journalist arrested over 'sex scandal' Weblog

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Kenyan police Wednesday arrested a journalist who recently resigned from the country's largest media group over an alleged sex scandal in the firm, his lawyer said.

At least 10 officers stormed Stephen Muiruri's office in Nairobi and arrested him, as well as confiscating his documents and personal computer, the state-run Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) lawyer Njonjo Mue said.

"We are concerned that the officers did not have an arrest warrant and in effect were carrying out an illegal search," he said. Muiruri's lawyer, Paul Muite, said the journalist was arrested for allegedly spreading offensive material involving top managers in the Nation Media Group, which runs a radio station, a television channel, and newspapers in the region.

"He was arrested on the basis of dissemination of offensive material [in] the internet," Muite stated. "The material is said to be the immorality going on in the Nation Media Group involving important personalities."

A number of unknown people have been running a Weblog that alleges a raft of sexual impropriety in the Nation, the largest media house in east and central Africa. None of the allegations have been confirmed. If convicted, Muiruri could be fined 50,000 shillings ($714) or jailed for three months, or both. Muiruri, who was the crime editor at the Nation newspapers, resigned early February.

In documents released by the KHCHR, Muiruri alleges that top police officials pressed the Nation management to fire him for exposing escalating crime in the east African nation. International press watchdogs have recently warned of worsening media freedom in the east African nation and urged the government to take steps that could create a conducive environment for journalists.

AFP