24 July 2012

Kenya: Trial of Iranian Terror Suspects Put Off

Photo: Hezron Njorge/The Star
In the dock (file photo): Iranians Ahmed Mohammed and Sayed are charged with possession of explosives and suspected of plotting a series of terrorist attacks in Kenya.

Nairobi — A Nairobi court on Tuesday adjourned the trial of two Iranians accused of possessing explosives allegedly for use in bomb attacks in the country.

Ahmed Mohammed and Sayed Mansour, who were arrested in June and charged with suspected links to a terror network planning bombings in Mombasa and Nairobi, are accused of possessing 15 kilos of the powerful explosive RDX.

Both men have denied the charges.

The hearing was cut short on the second day of proceedings and pushed to August 3, when a new date is expected to be made for the resumption of the trial.

Defence lawyer Kirathe Wandungi has alleged the suspects were interrogated by Israeli security officers while in Kenyan detention, claims dismissed by the prosecution.

The accusation follows a declaration by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who in early July - shortly after the two were charged - said Iran was plotting attacks against Israel in Kenya.

Meanwhile the High Court earlier on Tuesday cancelled the bail granted by a magistrate to the two Iranians.

High Court Judge Lydia Achode cancelled the bail of Sh2 million and two Kenyan sureties of Sh5 million each after the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko filed an urgent application.

The DPP through state counsel Edwin Okello told the court that the two are a flight risk who should be detained until their case is determined.

"The magistrate made an error because the offences the two face concern grave issues on national security," Okello said.

Okello argued that the trial magistrate made an error when he released the two on bail because the offences they face touch on national security.

Justice Achode directed that the parties appear before her on Wednesday for further hearing.

The trial of the two commenced Monday where two prosecution witnesses testified at the magistrate's court.

Copyright © 2012 Capital FM. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.