By SAM ALFAN.
A Nairobi court today declined to grant a bond to a couple accused of being in possession of hand grenades.
Senior Principal Magistrate Ellena Nderitu ruled that the accused should remain in custody pending the hearing and determination of their case. She noted that the recent terror attacks which have left several of people dead and others injured.
In her ruling this morning Magistrate noted that Muslim Cleric Hassan Mahat Omar and his wife Fardosa Mohamed Abdi are feared that they will execute more attacks in collaboration with Al-Shabaab insurgents if released on bond.
The magistrate said the security of the country out weighs individual rights and she agreed with the prosecution that the accused are a flight risk and it is in public interest that the two remain in custody.
“In as much as a person has a family in the country that one alone is not a justification that the accused will not abscond court. Above all the right to bail is not absolute in the nature of the offence that the accused are facing.” Nderitu stated.
She said after consideration of both prosecution and defence submissions she took judicial notice of the recent terror attacks that the country has been subjected to in relation to the accuser’s constitutional rights.
“Although bail is a constitutional right it is not absolute if the accused are found guilty they will be sentenced to life imprisonment,” Nderitu ruled.
The two are accused of being members of Al-Shabaab terrorist group and being in possession of weapons that were meant for mass destruction on March 1, charges they have since denied.
She said prosecution’s insistence that the two hand grenades were allegedly recovered from the suspects and is part of a larger cache of weapons yet to be recovered confirms that the consequences of the offence leveled against the couple is grave and cannot warrant bail at this stage.
“The investigating officer extensively enumerated to this court the circumstances that led to the accuser’s arrest and for this reason this court will diminish public confidence in the administration of justice if the two are released on bond yet the affidavit by the investigating officer Claus S is applicable in this case,” Nderitu ruled.
The magistrate however faulted police for not indicating to the court how the accused are likely to interfere with witnesses in the case.
The trial of two is set for June 25 with a mention slated for May 16