Nairobi, Kenya: Four Westgate terror suspects were Thursday denied bail for the second time by a Nairobi court citing security reasons.
Acting Chief Magistrate Daniel Ochenja ruled that the four suspects should remain in custody for their own safety and to allow police to complete investigations into the September 21 mall attack. The four Mohammed Ahmed, Ahmed Dheq, Abdula Omar and Hussein Hassan Mustafa are accused of lending support to the gunmen.
In his renewed application for bail, defence lawyer Mbugua Mureithi argued that the first application for bail was rejected by then Chief Magistrate Kiarie Waweru on December 18 last year on grounds that investigations had not been completed. He also argued that since trial has taken away the rights of the accused the court must strike a balance by releasing the four suspects.
Mbugua told court that out of the 20 witnesses who have so far testified none has linked the four suspects to the September 21 mall attack, and therefore there was need for the accused to be released on bond.
He added that the presumption of innocence has so far not suffered any setback by the prosecution and if anything that presumption has been reinforced by prosecution witnesses. “The right to bail is not bent on whether one has a fixed abode or not because in most cities majority do not have a home they are all tenants,” Mbugua said. He also told court that the accused persons were willing to abide by all conditions given by the court.
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