22 November 2012

Kenya: Blast Suspect May Escape on Bond - Police

THE anti-terror police yesterday opposed the release of Bella Vista grenade blast suspect on bail, saying he might disappear to Saudi Arabia or Somalia "where he has a network of friends".

When being cross-examined by defence counsel Chacha Mwita, ATPU investigator Adan Hussein told the High Court in Mombasa the accused is likely to interfere with witness if released on bond.

Hussein said a grenade safety pin with blood spots found at the scene of the blast indicated the suspect had been injured, and that they traced him to the Coast General Hospital.

"We recovered safety pin at the scene. It had blood indicating the suspect had been injured. We interrogated the victims at the hospital and narrowed down to the accused," said Hussein.

"I interrogated him and he clearly indicated he was in Somali and had received training."

The court heard that Thabit had been recruited into Somali's terror group Al Shabaab in 2011 and received a pistol and grenade to carry out terror attacks in the country.

Hussein however told the court the ATPU officers did not have any previous information of Thabit before the blast during the cross-examination.

Mwita said the accused right to fair trial was absolute and asked the court to release him on bail.

"The state has confirmed the accused lacks a previous criminal record. Up to date they have not produce evidence that the accused would not appear in court," said Mwita.

Mwita said the state had not proved that the accused belonged to a criminal network and he had not been charged with any terror related charges therefore he could be released on bond.

"The state has tried to draw a picture of the accused as a dangerous person in theory but nothing to substantiate," he said. The court will rule on the bond application today.

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