A Mombasa court has released on bond three people under investigation for communicating with Al-Shabaab militants.
Senior Resident Magistrate Vincent Adet rejected a police request to detain them for a further 14 days, noting that investigations could still be conducted while they are out on bond.
“The three respondents to be released upon execution of a bond of Sh500,000 each with one surety of [the same] amount,” said the magistrate.
They were given the alternative of depositing cash bail of Sh200,000 and providing two contact persons to secure their freedom.
The three are also required to report to the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) headquarters in Mombasa daily until June, when they are expected to return to court.
The court noted that the state had failed to produce a compelling reason to continue holding Mr Osman Mohamed Hassan, Mr Mohamed Ibrahim Hassan and Mr Hussein Ibrahim Hassan
The three were granted bail even as it emerged that more terror suspects had been arrested in Garissa and Nairobi in the 14 days that they had been held in custody.
Mr Jackson Katana, who is investigating the three, said detectives had arrested an undisclosed number of terror suspects following information provided by the three suspects.
“Investigations by the ATPU are intelligence-based and it involves a multi-agency team. I am not authorised to disclose more information,” he said during cross examination by the suspects’ lawyer Chacha Mwita.
The investigator also told the court that the team had not received a forensic report from ATPU headquarters in Nairobi on mobile phones seized from the suspects.
The court heard that a team of ATPU officers were conducting investigations in Nairobi, Garissa and Mombasa.
It has also emerged that the ATPU had reached out to the Kenyan Embassy in Somalia on the nationality of the three suspects.
However, Mr Mwita insists that the three are Kenyan citizens and that the allegations against them are baseless.
“They have Kenyan identification documents. They are innocent citizens of this country until the contrary is proven. It has not been indicated that they are a danger to society,” he said.
But state counsel Hillary Isiaho said prosecutors need more time to look into the activities of the suspects.
“Investigations are at an advanced stage. Let the detectives be given ample time to finalise [them],” the prosecutor said.
The state alleges that the three were in constant communication with terrorists who had planned an attack targets in Kenya during Easter holidays and the holy month of Ramadhan.
The three are being investigated for membership in a terrorist group and conspiracy to commit a terrorist act.
They were arrested following reports that Al-Shabaab militants had dispatched seven operatives to Kenya to carry out terrorist attacks.
A preliminary report indicated that the three have family ties with known terror operatives in Somalia.
The case will be mentioned on June 21.