Al shabaab suspect put on defence as two set free

Two suspected members of Al Shabaab terror group were on Tuesday set free by a Marsabit court for lack of evidence linking them to terrorism.

Bakako Boku Galgallo and Zarqu Galabo Qale faced three terror- related charges, including being in possession of materials related to terror.

The third accused, Abdikadir Aden Hirbo alias Tullu, was however, not lucky after the court acquitted him on two counts and found him with a case to answer on another count.

The trio was arrested on January 21, 2014 in Marsabit town on suspicion that they were involved in activities bordering on terrorism.

Police said the suspects had disappeared from Marsabit on June 11, 2013 allegedly to join the Al-Shaabab terror group in Somalia. However, they were then put under security surveillance.

They were charged with allegedly being found in possession of a 2GB SD card which had videos namely 12-4-06-Arrashed-Khaibar, Ya Yahud.MP3, Ya umata muxamad MP3 and Al Gurabaa MP3 that the prosecution held as an article for use in instigating the commission of a terrorism act.

The trio has been out on bond of shs. 500, 000 with two sureties of similar amount each after they pleaded not guilty to the charge.

In his ruling Marsabit Senior Resident Magistrate, Boaz Ombewa said investigation conducted by Nicholas Waringa working with the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) and who was one of the four witnesses lined up by the prosecution, found out that the phones and sim cards of the two accused had no information that could be used in instigating acts of terrorism.

The prosecution had told the court during the hearing that the accused persons were found in possession of phones and sim cards.

The first accused was said to have been in possession of Nokia phones 305 and 1280, Airtel sim card and a micro SD card while the second accused had a techno p35 and Nokia C1-1 phones, and Safaricom sim card.

The third accused was found with a Nokia 101 phone and Safaricom sim card which were subjected to forensic tests.

The magistrate however noted that investigation by ATPU established that the Micro-SD card possessed by the third accused contained material that bordered on terrorism.

The defense hearing for the third accused was set for June 21.

SOURCE: Kenya News Agency