Sentencing of Westgate terror suspects postponed to next week Friday

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By Mourice Seretta  

Two suspects implicated in the West Gate mall attack will have to wait a little longer to know the duration of their sentences after the court deferred the filing of the victims impact report with the matter set for mention next Friday.

The move was prompted by the prosecution’s failure to produce a probation report. Probation officer Peter Macharia says the prosecution had to interview some of the victims with some scheduled to visit the Anti-terrorism police unit before Friday next week.

Hussein Hassan Mustafa and Mohammed Ahmed Abdi were set for sentencing today after they were found guilty over their roles in the 2013 West Gate mall attack that left at least 67 people dead.

On October 7, Chief magistrate Francis Adayi found Hussein Hassan and Mustafa Mohammed Ahmed Abdi guilty over September 21, 2013 terror attack that also left over 100 people nursing serious injuries.

In his judgement, Adayi ruled that the prosecution had proved its case against Mohammed Ahmed Abdi and Hussein Mustaffah on charges of conspiring and giving support to a terrorist group and convicted them accordingly.

The decision of the court was informed by evidence derived from 46 witness accounts including scene witnesses, security officers, forensic experts as well as first responders who presented evidence incriminating two of the accused in the attack that resulted in a four-day siege.

The evidence also included accounts from persons working in financial institutions as well as insurance companies who illustrated the activity of the suspects prior to the attack as the prosecution sought to place the suspects at the heart of a terror network that orchestrated the Westgate mall attack.

One of the suspects, Abdullah Omar, was however set free after the court found no compelling evidence to incriminate him. The whereabouts of the suspect however remains unknown after he was allegedly picked by unknown persons shortly after his release. 

The judge asked for investigations into the matter even as he advised the family to seek the intervention of the KenyaNational Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), the body tasked with checking on human rights compliance in the country.

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