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17 face life imprisonment if found guilty of attempting to kill Raila

The 17 were arrested in connection of the stoning of the helicopter

Among the charges preferred against the 17 include attempted murder, incitement to violence, malicious damage to property and disturbance of peace. (Photo by Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group)

Seventeen suspects believed to have been involved in the stoning of Azimio La Umoja Presidential Candidate Raila Odinga’s helicopter in Soy Constituency, Uasin Gishu County on Friday, April 1, have been arraigned in Eldoret Law Court.

The charges filed against the individuals include attempted murder, incitement to violence, malicious damage to property and disturbance of peace.

First degree attempted murder is often punished with a life sentence, though the convicted does have the possibility to receive parole.

On the other hand, the Penal Code prohibits incitement to violence. Section 77(1) states that anyone found guilty of incitement to violence is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.

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The Penal Code further states that anyone who willfully and unlawfully destroys or damages any property is guilty of an offence, which, unless otherwise stated, is a misdemeanour, is liable, if no other punishment is provided, to imprisonment for five years.

Finally, the Penal Code explains that brawls or any other disturbance that is likely to cause a breach of peace, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for six months.

The prosecution, in a miscellaneous application at the Eldoret court, is seeking to have the 17 suspects held in custody for 14 days to allow police to complete investigations.

The individuals pelted Odinga's entourage with stones, damaging the helicopter's air-shield in the melee. Luckily, no casualties or injuries were reported.

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Odinga had visited the late Kibor's home on Friday evening just after the burial ceremony had been concluded when the incident happened.

Three politicians allegedly involved in the planning of the attack have already been summoned to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

Soy MP Caleb Kositany, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi and Uasin Gishu county speaker David Kiplagat were identified by the police as allegedly the main planners and funders of the violence meted on the ODM leader.

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