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» 04.03.2010 - ICC prosecutor submits 20 names
» 16.02.2010 - Kenya heading for a political disaster
» 15.02.2010 - Kibaki overrules PM’s decision
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Society | Media

Kenyan ex-journalist detained for "spreading false information"

afrol News, 8 October - Former Kenyan journalist Andrew Mwangura, is facing charges for "spreading false information" after he contradicted official version put out by Kenyan government about destination of Ukrainian cargo ship, "Faina", reportedly seized by pirates off Somali coast on 25 September, as it was headed for Kenyan port of Mombasa.

Mr Mwangura who is now east Africa coordinator of Seafarers Assistance Programme (SAP) was apprehended by Kenyan police as he left offices of "The Standard" newspaper in Mombasa on 1 October.

He was reportedly taken to police station, where he was detained for six days before a Mombasa court ordered his release on bail of 2,000 Euros. His trial is due to be held in a month.

He received a price in 2006 from International Chamber of Commerce, Commercial Crime Services, for his work in defending sailors and particularly against murder and piracy in east Africa. He is said to have helped obtain release of several sailors taken hostage.

The "Faina" was carrying 30 Soviet-made assault tanks, rocket launchers and anti-aircraft batteries, along with about 14,000 munitions.

Since ship was seized by pirates, there has been an on-going debate about destination of arms. Ukrainian and Kenyan governments have announced that weapons were intended for Kenya.

However, Mr Mwangura reportedly claims that they were in fact destined for south Sudan, adding that he has seen documents proving his claim.

Mr Mwangura is said to have also claimed that four Ukrainian cargo ships, also loaded with weapons, have already transited through port of Mombasa in last year.

Several different statements are said to have been made to back up this claim, including that of spokesman of United States Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, Nathan Christensen.

Meanwhile, on 7 October, BBC website reportedly published details of contracts showing that arms consignment was bound for south Sudan and indicating that Kenyan government had acted as an intermediary.

At moment, "Faina" is reportedly anchored off port of Hobyo, about 500 kilometres north of capital Mogadishu, surrounded by US warships.

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