|Mombasa blast suspect, Athman Salim (centre) released after prosecution failed to link him to the crime. (Photo:Maarufu Mohammed/Standard)|
By Willis Oketch
The only suspect detained after the June 24 terrorist attack on football fans in Mshomoroni, Mombasa has been set free after prosecutors failed to link him to the crime raising doubts about the caliber of police investigation of terror crimes.
23-year-old Athman Salim Garama, a native of Kibao Kiche in Kilifi was injured in the blast at Jericho Beer Garden in Mshomoroni, five kilometers north of Mombasa.
The government is now facing the threat of court action by the freed suspect for illegal detention and other damages after he was pulled from his hospital bed at the Coast General Hospital and clapped into police custody still suffering from leg injuries incurred in the blast.
Writhing in pain Athman says he was not tortured by detectives but accused the police of mischief for linking him to the crime.
“Although I am at long last free I am not happy with the police over what I have gone since I was arrested,” Said Athman.
Athman who spoke to The Standard after his release said he cannot recall the events of June 24 vividly.
“I do not know what happened on that day” said Athman who on Monday said he was knocked down by the force of the blast and ended up in hospital.
“I am considering taking the government to court because their arrest has tarnished my name making people who know to think I am a criminal,” he declared on Monday after his release.
Following Athman’s release on Monday, questions are mounting about the fate of terror suspect Yahya Thabit Jamaldin who was also injured in the May 15 terror attack on Bella Vista club in Mombasa and is still in police custody.
Thabit still in the custody of Anti- Terrorism Police Unit ATPU detectives remains at the private wing of the Coast General Hospital although medical authorities have discharged and declared him fit to stand trial.
The government is facing a legal dilemma regarding Thabit because unlike Athman’s case prosecution authorities have never sought or received a court order authorizing his continued detention without charge beyond the constitutional 24 hours leeway.