Suspect accuses police of torture

PAUL WAWERU | NATION
From left: Mr Hussein Mustafa, Mr Adan Dheq, Mr Liban Abdulah and Mohammed Abdi when they appeared before a Nairobi court on Wednesday to face charges of carrying out the Westgate Mall attack.

What you need to know:

  • He said he was tortured at the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit offices, where officers allegedly strangled, and slapped him in the face before subjecting him to a mock electrocution with an electricity wire.

A man charged over the Westgate Shopping Mall terror attack has accused police of torturing him for a month to force a confession.

Mr Adan Abdikadir Dheq Adan, a Madrassa teacher, in an affidavit filed in court yesterday, accused the government of criminalising him over a crime he never committed.

He is among three suspected terrorists on trial over the September 21 attack that claimed 67 lives and left over 200 others injured.

“I am a practising Muslim who believes in the sanctity of human life and I had nothing to do with the murderous attack on the Westgate Mall whatsoever...” Mr Adan said in a reply to the prosecution’s objection to his release on bail pending the hearing of the case early next year.

Allegedly strangled

He said he was tortured at the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit offices, where officers allegedly strangled, and slapped him in the face before subjecting him to a mock electrocution with an electricity wire. He said the officers told him he would be electrocuted if he did not help them identify the assailants.

He said he was held in solitary confinement for eight days at the Inland Container Depot Police Station and only allowed outside to attend to the call of nature.

“While I was in police custody, I was shown CCTV footage of very clear videos of the attack on Westgate and I do not appear in any of them... I was also shown very clear pictures of persons believed to be the attackers and my picture is not among them,” he said.

The suspect said interrogators were demanding that he “helps” them identify the attackers “none of whom I knew nor have ever met in my life and I told them as much.”

He said the attack happened “while I was at house in Eastleigh, Nairobi and only watched it on television”. He also denied knowing one Abdikadir Hared Mohemmed, whom he is accused offering shelter while knowing he had participated in the attack.

“I am not a criminal and I have never carried out any terror attack anywhere in the world, I do not belong to any criminal or terrorist group and I am not a threat to anybody,” he said, adding that the charges were fabricated.

Lawyer Mbugua Mureithi said Mr Adan’s affidavit was laying ground for court to find reasons for releasing him on bail.

“We have raised several matters of fact, which we intend to show the court who the accused really is, where he was when the attack happened as opposed to what has been said about him previously,” Mr Mbugua said.

State counsel Mungai Warui, who opposed the suspects release on bail, told court the factual matters raised in the affidavit could only be replied to through filing of a further affidavit sworn by the investigators.

Proceedings were Wednesday adjourned to November 28.

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