Terror suspects urge court to let them go back to school

They say detention is making them lag behind in the pursuit of their dreams.

Terror suspects Mr Ali Omra, Mr Mohamed Abdalla, Mr Kasim Ali, Mr Mohamed Salim and Mr Mohammed Mwichande Kombo at the Mombasa law courts on March 20, 2018. They told Mombasa Senior Principal Magistrate Francis Kyambia they want to be released so they can pursue higher education. PHOTO | BRIAN OCHARO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IN SUMMARY

  • The suspects have denied the charges against them.
  • They said their case was taking too long to be concluded because of delays by the prosecution.
  • They said they are lagging behind in their education as they have been detained for three years.
  • The suspects said life in prison has been unbearable and they want to be set free so they can pursue their dreams.

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Five terror suspects linked to the Kenya Army Rifles Nyali Barracks attack in 2014 want to go back to school to continue with their studies.

They would like to pursue higher education.

LAGGING BEHIND

Mr Mohammed Mwichande Kombo, Mr Mohamed Salim, Mr Kasim Ali, Mr Mohamed Abdalla and Mr Ali Omar on Tuesday told the court that they are lagging behind in their education due to their continued detention.

“My peers are ahead of me now because I have been locked up in prison. I humbly request the court to acquit me so that I can go back home and continue with my studies,” Mr Omar told Mombasa Senior Principal Magistrate Francis Kyambia.

The suspect lamented that life in prison has been unbearable and he wanted to be set free so he could pursue his dreams.

“I fear that the society will find it difficult accepting me back if this detention continues. I also wish to become a better person in society but my dreams seem shattered because I am locked up and I can’t progress with my life,” Mr Mwichande said.

The suspects were arrested three years ago. They said the detention has denied them opportunities to advance in life.

PROGRESS

They argued that their age mates and even people younger than them have progressed.

The suspects were concerned that their case was taking too long to be concluded due to failure by the prosecution to bring in witnesses.

The suspects made the statements when asked by the magistrate to respond to an application by the State to adjourn the case after the investigating officer failed to appear in court to testify.

Prosecutor Jami Yamina asked the court to adjourn the hearing to enable him present the witness, who he said was in a training and would be available after April 14.

'EXCUSES'

But Mr Kyambia warned that he would not tolerate the prosecution’s excuses that has delayed the hearing and conclusion of the matter.

“This is the same excuse the prosecution has continued making before the court. We are not fools, however, I will grant the last adjournment. I have also issued sermons to the witness,” he said.

The suspects are accused of violently robbing police constables Ibrahim Hamisi and Simon Lochodo on October 2, 2015. They allegedly took possession of two G3 rifles worth Sh115,000.

The five suspects have denied various charges, among them being in possession of chemicals used to make explosives, possession of two rifles and 37 bullets, and possession of 10 Identification cards belonging to different people, one of them a victim of robbery.

The accused also faces charges of holding a meeting in preparation to launch a terror attack.

The hearing is set for April 5.

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