Nine terror suspects remanded

Gideon Maundu | NATION
Some of the youths from Mombasa’s Majengo area allegedly arrested heading to Somalia to join a terror group on Monday when they appeared before Mombasa Principal magistrate Richard Kirui on Tuesday. Police successfully sought orders to have them remain in custody to allow for investigations to be completed.

What you need to know:

  • Police ask for more time to probe case of Kenyan youths reportedly caught going to join al Shabaab

Six youths arrested in Lamu while allegedly going to Somalia to join a terror group on Tuesday appeared in court but no charges were preferred against them.

Also in court were a couple who runs a guest house where the youths spent a night and their employee.

The prosecution applied to have the nine held in custody to enable police conduct further investigations.

The prosecution argued there had been no time to complete investigations after the youths were arrested on Faza Island.

Principal magistrate Richard Kirui ordered that they be remanded at the Port Police Station until Friday.

“You have not been charged with any offence,” said Mr Kirui, adding that if no charges are preferred on them next time they appear in court, they will be discharged.

One of the suspects claimed that they had not eaten for two days and that they were denied an opportunity to talk to their lawyers.

The court directed that they be allowed to talk to their relatives some of whom were in the courtroom.

The youths were alleged to have been recruited to join the Somali rebel group al Shabaab, which is fighting to topple the government in Mogadishu.

The group has also threatened to attack Kenya in the past, accusing Nairobi of shoring up the weak Transitional Federal Government.

Two of the youths arrested on Monday were students of a Mombasa secondary school. They had allegedly been travelling with a Nigerian who had a British passport. He was identified as Michael Olemindis Ndemolajo.

The Immigration department was asked on Tuesday to supply detectives with detailed information regarding the Nigerian who was estimated to be aged between 18-22 years.

The Faza couple and their employee were picked up at the guesthouse they own in Faza Village, where the youths spent a night before being arrested in the neighbouring Kizingitini Village.

On Tuesday, Lamu nominated councillor Famau Ahmed Famau led some relatives of the three in demanding that they be released.

They held a meeting with the Coast provincial police boss, Mr Leo Nyongesa.

Mr Famau told reporters outside the PPO’s office that the couple and their worker were innocent, saying they received the youths just like any other customers.

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