Isiolo court jails man to 30 years over terrorism related charges

Isiolo Law Courts

Isiolo court on Tuesday jailed a man to 30 years for being in possession of terror related materials.

Photo credit: Wairimu Waweru I Nation Media Group

A man will serve 3o years for being in possession of  terror related materials.

Isiolo Chief Magistrate Lucy Mutai found Mr Osman Galle guilty saying the prosecution provided sufficient evidence to show the materials contained elements of radicalisation and extremism.

The court established that the materials were encouraging followers and sympathisers of terror groups to harden themselves in the fight against Kenya.

The magistrate said it was common knowledge that Kenya was an enemy to terror groups and therefore any message intended to encourage a terror group to fight Kenya, could only be intended for purposes of terrorism.

The accused, the court said, did not sufficiently corroborate  the prosecution's evidence in regard to the charge.

"I find that the prosecution has provided convincing evidence to prove all the counts leveled against the accused," Ms Mutai said.

Mr Galle will serve 30 years for being a member of a terrorist group and 11 other charges related to possession of terrorism articles. The court ordered that jail terms run concurrently.

The court heard that Mr Galle had gone to visit a friend-one Osman Chule who had been detained over terror related charges on March 28, 2017 when Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) officers pounced on him. Mr Galle was in the company of one Mohamed Adan Hirbo.

On interrogation and search, the pair was found with two mobile phones, one which had videos suspected to be extremist and which belonged to the accused.

Mr Galle was immediately arrested and Mr Adan released after his phone was found with no incriminating information.

The phone that had suspicious materials in video form was three days later forwarded to ATPU forensic laboratory where it was established that it had incriminating content.

Terrorist act

The accused would on April 4 same year be charged with 12 counts that included possession of articles connected with commission of terrorist act, being a member of a terrorist group and collection of extremist articles contrary to section 29 of Prevention of Terrorism Act 2012.

The court was told that the accused phone had a total of 24 videos and 72 audios among them Hakuna Hifadhi ila kwa Imani, Wanafiq by Aboud Rogo, Mujahideen moment 10, Jihad na Izza, Kikao Cha kupinga Jihad and Masimba-Nasheed all instigating commission of a terrorism act.

Majority of the materials were preachings in Swahili while others such as Hakuna Hifadhi ila kwa Imani was done in a combination of English and Arabic and authored by Harmet Imar, a member of Al-Shabaab.

In his defense, the accused denied all the counts including being a member of Al-Shabaab or any terror organisation and told the court he was set to join Mount Kenya University's Embu campus for a three-year-course.

Arguing out their case, the prosecution team said the videos that were in the accused' phone could have been used in training, radicalisation and to encourage and incite ordinary Kenyans to join al-Shabaab.

A report from an IT forensic analyst who relied on raw data retrieved from the mobile through logical system of extraction showed that the accused not only had a collection of terrorism materials but generated and downloaded them in his phone.

The prosecution further said had Mr Galle been not interested in the videos, he would have deleted them but chose to save them in his phone.

The videos were stored in the phone memory but did not show the site where they were downloaded from, investigators told the court.