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Kenyan court revokes deportation of opposition-linked lawyer

FILE PHOTO: Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga (C) of the National Super Alliance (NASA) is flanked by lawyer Miguna Miguna (L) and James Orengo as he takes a symbolic presidential oath of office in front of his supporters in Nairobi, Kenya January 30, 2018. Picture January 30, 2018. REUTERS/Baz Ratner/File Photo


NAIROBI (Reuters) - A Kenyan court on Thursday revoked the deportation of a lawyer who "swore in" opposition leader Raila Odinga as the country's "president" in a direct challenge to the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta, local television station Citizen reported.

Miguna Miguna, who holds dual Kenyan and Canadian citizenship, is currently in Canada after being put on a flight to Toronto by the Kenyan government earlier this month following several days of being held in police detention.

His expulsion came after he was charged with treason over the "swearing-in" ceremony. The high court in Nairobi had issued several orders that he be allowed to appear before it, which the government ignored.

The case exposed a deepening rift between Kenyatta's government and the judiciary, which had nullified his initial re-election and ordered a repeat election, which Odinga then boycotted.

Odinga justified his "swearing in" by saying he had won the initial Aug. 8 election which was then invalidated by the Supreme Court.

Asked for reaction to Thursday's ruling, the Kenyan interior ministry, which ordered Miguna's deportation, referred Reuters to the state law office.

Miguna welcomed the court ruling, tweeting: "(We) are fully committed to the rule of law. We shall use the constitution as the spear and the shield in the fight."

(Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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