9 May 2012

Kenya: British Terror Suspect's Hearing Set for Today

Photo: Norbert Allan
British terror suspect Jermaine Grant.

THE office of the Director of Public Prosecutions office yesterday sought an adjournment in a case because the main file involving a British national accused of terror activities is being held at the High Court.

State lawyer Jacob Ondari said the file could have remained at the High Court, following an application filed by Jermain Jhon Grant, a citizen of the United Kingdom, who is seeking a review of his three-year sentence for being in the country illegally and lying to immigration officials.

The case in which Grant is charged with three other Kenyans-Faud Abubakar Manswab, Warda Breik Islam and Frank Nyengo Ngala- will now be heard today, after the file was taken to the lower court.

Lawyers in the case including Chaacha Mwita and Jared Bosire said they were ready to proceed with the hearing of the matter, but were surprised that there was only a skeleton file without details.

At the same time, the police had supplied the defendants lawyers with statements from other witnesses, which they needed to peruse before the case could proceed. "On February 20, we were ordered to come for hearing today, which was slated for two days, but today, there is only the skeleton file. We request for directions from the court," said Bosire when the file was called out by the court clerk. Ondari said there are three witnesses, who are ready to give their evidence when the case commences. Senior Principal Magistrate Joyce Gandani fixed the hearing for today.

Grant, Manswab and Warda have been charged that on December 20th 2011, at around 1.30am at Kisauni area, jointly with others not before court, they were unlawfully found in possession of explosive materials.

The explosives included acetone chemical in a two litre plastic container, hydrogen peroxide chemical in a 200ml black plastic container, ammonium nitrate chemical in half kilogramme, white plastic container, sulphur sublimed chemical, lead nitrate chemical, four size AA super royal batteries, one white electric switch, eleven centimeter piece of electric current conducting wire.

They are charged with a conspiracy to commit to commit a felony, in that on diverse dates between December 20 to 28th 2011, at Kisauni and Kaloleni areas, conspired to improvise device with the intent to cause loss of lives and harm to innocent citizens.

Manswab was charged with harbouring an alien. He was charged that on December 20 last year, he haborured Jermain Jhon Grant alias Ali Mohammed Ibrahim alias Peter Joseph, who is a resident of the UK without any legal identification documents.

The Briton was charged that on December 20th last year, at around 1.30am at Port Police station in Mombasa, he gave his name as Peter Joseph, a citizen of Canada, to police constable Kennedy Opasi.

Chaacha argued that the facts contradicted those that were read out in court since the proceedings stated that the anti-terror police officers went to Kisauni where they arrested the suspect for being in possession of explosives.

"As per the charge sheet, the applicant has been identified as Jermain Jhon Grant alias Ali Mohamed Ibrahim, alias Peter Joseph. If his real names are Grant, the question is left begging who is Mohamed Ibrahim,"he said. However, Justice Maureen Odero disqualified the review application and said it ought to have been filed as an appeal.

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