Court slaps Kamiti Prison escapees with additional 15-month jail term

NATIONAL |

A Nairobi court has slapped the three terror convicts who broke out of Kamiti Maximum Security Prison with additional 15-month sentences.

The three, Joseph Odhiambo, Musharaf Abdalla and Mohammed Abikar today pleaded guilty to charges of escaping lawful custody on November 15. They were recaptured in Kitui three days later.

The convicts, who appeared before Kahawa Law Courts Senior Magistrate Diana Muchache, however, denied commissioning terrorism acts alongside their fellow inmate Abdulmajid Yassin, who was charged with aiding their escape from prison.

The State had asked the court to jail the trio for the maximum term of two years for escaping lawful custody, saying they had instilled fear among Kenyans when they broke out of Kamiti.

The three terror convicts who escaped from Kamiti Maximum Prison after being arrested in Mwingi, Kitui County on November 18, 2021. [Courtesy, Standard]

However, Muchache appreciated that the convicts had confessed and reduced the burden of proof for the prosecution.

“Because the accused persons are remorseful and have saved this court’s time, the court will not sentence them to the maximum (sentence) prescribed, and accordingly proceeds to sentence each accused persons to 15 months’ imprisonment."

Abdallah narrated to the court how he and his cellmates made their way out of Kamiti by digging a hole using a chisel, which has yet to be brought to court as an exhibit.

The prosecution presented an assortment of items the trio used, including a makeshift ladder made of blankets, ropes and a hook, pieces of mattresses, a stone, two razor blades and two nails. 

Abdalla further asked the court not to send him back to Kamiti as he feared being victimised.

“I (know) some of the officers who helped us break out of the prison have not yet been arrested, so I beg the court not to take me back."

The other accused persons additionally asked the court to allow them to serve the 15-month term concurrently with their current sentences. However, Muchache ruled that they would serve the sentence after completing their previous terms.

Abdallah was first arrested in 2012 and found guilty of plotting an attack on Parliament. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison. The father of five told the court that he broke out of Kamiti to join his family.

Abikar was slapped with a 41-year jail term for the Garissa University attack in 2015 that killed 148 people. He told the court that he fears for his life given the current spate of brazen abductions in the country.

Odhiambo was convicted in 2019 and is serving a 15-year sentence for attempting to join the terror group Al-Shabaab in Somalia.  

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