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Westgate attack suspects have a case to answer

Westgate Mall attack case
(L-R) Hussein Mustafa, Liban Abdalla and Mohammed Abdi at Milimani Law Court on January 14,2019 where they were put on their defence in the Westgate Mall attack case. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL 

Three suspects accused of masterminding the deadly Westgate Mall attack in 2013 have a case to answer, a Nairobi court ruled on Monday.

Ahmed Abdi, Liban Omar and Hussein Mustafa were put on their defence by Nairobi Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi. The court freed the fourth accused, Adan Dheg.

The attack carried out on September 21, 2013 in the upscale Nairobi mall left 68 dead and over wounded.

The four had been jointly and separately charged with conspiracy to commit a terrorist act, among other charges.

Mr Andayi said the prosecution has provided evidence adequate to sustain a prosecution against the three.

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The four faced a total of 12 counts among them commission of a terrorist act and conspiring to commit a terrorist act.

Mr Andayi dismissed the first count of commission of a terrorist act against all the accused persons.

Other charges brought against the trio include giving support to a terrorist group.

Mr Ahmed was charged with being a member of a terrorist group and holding information for use in a terrorist act. He was allegedly found in possession of material in connection with terrorism offences.

Mr Ahmed was further charged with being a member of the Al-Shabaab after he was allegedly found in possession of videos titled “Training series in Swahili” and “Ambush at Bardale” which the prosecution said can be used in the instigation and facilitation of acts of terror.

He was allegedly found in possession of Al Shabaab training videos in Kitale town three days after the attack.

Mr Liban was accused of making false statement while Mr Dheq had denied a charge of obtaining registration by false pretence and being in Kenya unlawfully.

The prosecution said they believe that the four were either directly or indirectly involved in the Westgate mall attack.

The case will be mentioned on January 21.

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