Kamiti jailbreak. Terror convicts now put under ATPU watch

Terror convicts

Three terror convicts who had escaped from Kamiti prison alighting from a police chopper after they were captured in Kitui. A court in Kiambu has allowed the state to detain them for 10 days.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A court in Kiambu, which is dedicated to counter-terrorism cases, has allowed the state to detain three terror convicts, who had escaped from Kamiti Maximum Security Prison on November 14, for 10 days.

At the same time, the court has allowed the prosecution to transfer the trio from Kamiti Maximum Prison to the Anti-terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) headquarters in Nairobi for security reasons and to prevent those implicated in their escape from interfering with both the evidence and investigations.

The three — Musharraf Abdalla Akhulunga alias Zarkarawi, Mohammed Ali Abikar and Joseph Juma Odhiambo alias Yusuf — were arrested on Thursday last week in Kitui County after escaping from Kamiti Maximum Security Prison Block A6 where they were being held.

They had been jailed for a cumulative 78 years for engaging in terrorism activities.

The Director of Public Prosecutions and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations had filed a miscellaneous application on Friday, through a certificate of urgency, seeking to have the three detained for 10 days  as investigations  continue on how and who aided their escape from one of the most guarded prisons in Kenya.

Investigations complex

The prosecution team, while seeking to have the trio detained, told Kahawa Law Courts’ Senior Principal Magistrate Boaz Ombewa that the ongoing investigations to unravel how the three escaped are complex and entail travelling to Kalumuyuni — to visit the scene where they were arrested — for purposes of scene documentation and statement recording.

“[T]he investigations also involve tracing and apprehension of other subjects who are still at large and believed to be behind the escape,” the application read.

Mr Ombewa gave the orders to detain the three terror convicts.

The Nation has learnt that the three terror convicts have already been moved to the ATPU headquarters in Nairobi and are expected  at Kahawa Law Courts on Monday, November 29, 2021 when the 10 days lapse.

Prison boss detained

At the same time, the suspended Kamiti Maximum Prison boss, Mr Charles Mutembei, alongside five other senior wardens — Mr Joseph Loklari, Ms Pamela Cherubet, Mr Peter Thuku, Ms Lilian Mukasia and Mr Nicholas Otieno — have suffered a blow after the court ruled that they be detained for eight more days at Gigiri Police Station as investigations continue over their link in aiding the terror suspects to escape from prison.

Both the DCI and the DPP argued in their miscellaneous application in court that Mr Mutembei and his co-accused, as seniors in-charge of the Kamiti prison, failed to ensure safety and created a loophole for the terror suspects to escape.

The state wanted the six to be detained for 30 days as investigations continue.

Aiding a jailbreak attracts a maximum jail term of seven years if one is found guilty.

Dastan Omari, the lawyer representing Mr Mutembei and his co-accused, wanted the court to review the eight days to three but the magistrate ruled that the defence had not produced any evidence to show why the detention days should be reduced.