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DPP wants Garissa varsity terror suspects placed on defence

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has urged a Nairobi court to place five terror suspects linked to Garissa University College attack on their defence.

The DPP, through his assistant Duncan Ondimu, told Milimani Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi to put the accused persons, who are charged with over 150 counts of terrorism and related offences, on trial as his office had proved a prima facie case against them.

In his submission, Ondimu said the circumstantial evidence against all the accused persons is too strong in regard to participation in the terrorist attack.

“There is no doubt that a terrorist act was committed on April 2, 2015 at Garissa University College jointly with others not before court,” he said.

“This was an unlawful purpose and all the accused persons were part of the group, sharing a common purpose in execution of their criminal enterprise,” he added.

The suspects are Rashid Charles Mberesero, a Tanzanian who is reportedly the only suspect found alive in the college, Mohamed Ali Abdikar, Hassan Aden Hassan, Sahal Diriye and Osman Abdi.

Ondimu said according to 144 postmortem reports tabled in court, the deceased died gruesome deaths and the court should take judicial notice of the existence of Al-Shabaab.

During the attack, 147 students were killed and several others injured.

“The terror group has been advocating and had indeed meted out violence towards non- Muslims here in Kenya. This has all been in its twisted view of furthering its extremist agenda as well as fight against the Kenya government’s incursion into Somalia, where it is based,” he said.

Senior scene-of-crime police officer Frank Anunda, a witness in the case, said investigations revealed that two suspects killed in the attack were lawyers who had graduated from the University of Nairobi and hailed from Mandera county.

Another suspect was from South Sudan and the fourth a student in Mandera.

In the case, four AK 47 firearms, 713 live ammunition and 1,729 spent cartridges used by terrorists during attack have since been produce in court as exhibits.

The magistrate will deliver his ruling on December 19.

EDS/MK/007/012/018

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