One of the three terror convicts who had made a daring escape from Kamiti Maximum Security Prison on November 15 has told a terrorism court that he would escape again given a chance.
Musharraf Abdalla Akhulunga alias Zarkarawi, who Monday appeared before Kahawa Law Courts Chief Magistrate Diana Mochache, at the same time said it took the three of them one year and a half of strategic planning for their escape to succeed. But they were later recaptured in Kitui.
“We were arrested because we became frail after exhausting all the food we had. We were heading to Ethiopia. We were in search of our safety and freedom because there is no need of exhausting your jail term and later police hand you over to anti-terrorism police for execution,” he said.
He claimed that authorities are always sceptical of reformed terrorists who often get executed.
“We were not escaping to commit a terrorism offence. We were seeking safety and freedom,’’ he added.
Arrest prison wardens
At the same time, Akhulunga complained to the magistrate that some of the prison wardens who aided their escape have not been arrested or interrogated even after giving their names to anti-terrorism police.
He told the magistrate that his life is in danger and that he has vital evidence on their escape but police have refused to record it.
“I plead with the court not to take me back to Kamiti Maximum Prison or Naivasha prison because I will be harmed,” he told the magistrate.
It took the intervention of the magistrate, who temporarily suspended the session, to allow Akhulunga to write down the names of the implicated officers. The magistrate later ordered the prosecution team to summon the said officers for interrogation.
The three recaptured convicts pleaded guilty to escaping from lawful custody but maintained that they were escaping because even after completing they jail term, they feared the authorities would hand them over to anti-terrorism police for execution.
Abikar and Odhiambo also told the court that they feared for their lives after completing their jail term, with Odhiambo saying he was remorseful for his acts while seeking a lenient sentencing after escaping from prison.
The magistrate said the accused had made things easy for the court by owning up to the offence of escaping from jail, saving taxpayers’ money by making the judgement easy.
“The accused have shown their remorse by pleading guilty to the offences and saving this court time and resources in pursuit of justice. I now sentence them to 15 months each in prison instead of two years for escaping from lawful custody,” the magistrate ruled.