Court threatens to free 6 terror suspects owing to incomplete investigation

08:28 Jul 24 2015 Kakamega, Kenya

A Kakamega chief magistrate's court may set free six suspects accused of being members of Al Shabaab terror group if the State fails to implicate them in seven days. Chief Magistrate Rosemary Kimingi yesterday issued summons to the District Criminal Investigation Officer (DCIO) to appear in court within seven days and state steps he had made in the case. Defence counsel for the six, Victor Shivega, had asked for their release citing a possibility of no-case against them. Mr Shivega applied that Peter Mungai, Isaak Abdi Hedi alias Kubo, Mohamed Noor, Hassan Ibrahim alias Bonaya, Abdi Noor alias AP and Hassan Omar be released on 'reasonable' bond with an alternative of cash bail under Article 49 (1). "The matter has been blown out of proportion and the court has to consider several issues, including having the accused in custody since they were arrested on June 27, 2015, with the argument that police were carrying out investigations," he said. He argued that the accused should not have been arraigned in court in the interest of justice because of the absence of completion of investigation in the case. "The indication from the investigating officer is that inquest has not been completed and there has also been attempts to withdraw the matter for lack of evidence at some point," said Shivega. He further pleaded with the court to consider releasing the six on free bond because they were 'mere hawkers' of limited means and residents of Kakamega town who could present themselves any time the police deemed fit. The prosecution had on July 8 applied that the six be remanded in custody for 14 days for their own security because if released, they could be harmed by hungry mobs. Chief Magistrate Kimingi, after listening to both sides, ordered the Kakamega DCIO to appear before the court on the 29th. The accused were denied bail by the court due to the nature of the crime. The case will be heard on July 29.
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