20 June 2019

Kenya: Alai and Ex-Prison Warder to Remain in Custody for 14 Days - Court

Nairobi — The Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) has been given fourteen days to hold blogger Robert Alai and former prison warder Patrick Safari Robert to complete investigations into last weekend's attack in Wajir that left a dozen police officers dead.

The two were arrested on Tuesday for publishing gory images of police officers killed in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack buy suspected Al-Shabaab terrorists on Saturday.

Milimani's Senior Resident Magistrate Sinkiyiany Tobiko, allowed the application for custodial, but limited the request to two weeks from 30 days sought by ATPU.

The prosecution, told the court that on June 15, police officers from Khoral Haral Police Post located within Wajir County while on board a patrol vehicle were attacked by terrorists who had planted an IED on Haral road.

The court heard that officers from Serious Crime Unit arrested the two suspects and handed them to ATPU for investigations.

The prosecution said that at the time of arrest, the suspects' mobile phones were seized and are currently being forensically examined by experts with a report expected for further analysis.

The magistrate was asked to provide the investigators with more time given the complexity of the matter, the police saying the probe wil extend to other jurisdictions including Somalia.

Police want to establish the link between the suspects and the terrorist involved in the IED attack.

The prosecution said that preliminary investigations reveal that the two Kenyans were in constant communication with several other persons whose calls were traced to Somalia.

Lawyer Samson Nyaberi appearing for the suspects had opposed the application for further detention on grounds that Alai and Safari had cooperated with the police.

He said the suspects are not a flight risk since they have homes and families in the country.

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