Westgate terror suspects to know their fate in a fortnight

Monday, September 21st, 2020 00:00 |

A judgement in a criminal case involving three people suspected to have carried out the Westgate shopping mall terror attack in 2013 will be delivered on October 5.

When the case came up for judgment before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi on Friday, he informed the parties that it was not ready.

He, however, deferred the delivery of the judgement to October 5.

In the case, one of the four suspects charged with carrying out a terror attack on the Mall in September 2013 was freed earlier this year for lack of evidence.

On January 19, 2020 Andayi acquitted Abdikadir Adan alias Adan Dheq but said three others namely Mohamed Abdi, Liban Omar and Hussein Mustafah had a case to answer. 

They were jointly accused of carrying out the terror attack in which 67 people died and several others injured.

Among those who died included a senior city lawyer Peter Zimani who was shot dead as he was attending to his client at the mall.

Dheq had been charged with providing accommodation to Mohamed Abdi in his house along Muyuyu Avenue in Eastleigh, knowing that he had committed an act of terrorism.

He faced another charge of procuring a Kenyan identity card in Mandera on July 13, 2010, while he was a national of Somalia.

The freed man was also accused of being unlawfully present in Kenya.

The other three were charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism among other charges. They have denied the accusation.

They have also denied aiding terrorist groups and being in Kenya illegally. Over 140 prosecution witnesses testified in the case.

In his ruling, on whether the accused persons have case to answer, Andayi had said he was satisfied with the evidence linking the three to the attack at the premier shopping mall.

Suspected al Shabaab militants stormed the high-end shopping facility mid-morning, hurling grenades and firing indiscriminately.

The suspects’ first appearance in court was on January 15, 2014. Al Shabaab, the Somalia-based terror group, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The terror group is linked to international terrorism group al Qaeda. It has been waging terrorist attacks on Kenya, more so after former President Mwai Kibaki sent troops to Somalia to fight the militants in 2011.

Kenya invaded Somalia after a series of cross-border raids by the militant group.

Some of the reasons cited by Kenya include abductions of tourists along the Kenyan coast.

Four of the suspects who carried out the Westgate attack were killed in the four-day standoff.

They were identified as Abu Baara al-Sudani, Omar Nabhan, Khattab al-Kene and Umayr. They were identified thrrough a CCTV footage.

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