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Couple found with grenades in Likoni jailed for seven years

By Joackim Bwana | Updated Thu, January 5th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3

A man and his wife were yesterday convicted to seven years in prison for being in possession of grenades.

The prosecution said the couple were found with three grenades in their house at Majengo Mapya in Likoni on March 21, 2013.

They have been in prison since as the court denied them bond for a crime they have denied committing.

The court acquitted them of other charges; possessing fake currency, belonging to the separatist Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) and keeping inciting literature.

Hassan Jillo Bwanamaka alias Said Alias Matapu and Mwanasita Shee Masha will now serve their sentence after the court ruled that they were guilty.

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Bwanamaka is said to have been a student at the Military Training School in Eldoret, but it is not clear if he completed his course or was expelled.

THREE YEARS

Their lawyer, Pascal Nabwana, yesterday pleaded with the court to order a non-custodial sentence as his clients had already served three years in prison after they were denied bond.

“The two have been in custody since 2014 and have never been granted bond. They are remorseful and they have children who have not seen them for a quite a while.

"Considering they have been in custody for three years, they have suffered, which is enough correction,” said the defence lawyer.

Senior Resident Magistrate Irene Ruguru said the prosecution had provided enough evidence beyond reasonable doubt to show that the explosives were found between clothes in a suitcase in their rented house in Likoni.

She however exonerated the couple from four charges they were facing for lack of evidence.

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The two also faced another charge of being in possession of 305 fake paper money passing as Sh1,000.

The were also charged with being in possession of inciting letters that sought to provoke violence in the country.

 BECAME HOSTILE

At some point during the sentencing, Bwanamaka became hostile when a journalist tried to take a photograph of him at close range.

He quickly rose to his feet and tried to grab the camera and it took the intervention of the court orderlies to contain him.

In her sentencing, Ms Ruguru said police had failed to show if the couple were MRC members and that none of the group leaders, who testified in court, had said the two were members of the group.

She also said that the prosecution had failed to indicate who the incitement letters found in their house were meant to incite.

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