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68 year old Lamu man tell court he is Al Shabaab member

By Jane Mugambi | Published Thu, January 4th 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 3rd 2018 at 20:37 GMT +3
Barisa Balola a terrorist suspect at the Lamu court on Wednesday January 3, 2018. Barisa pleaded guilty to terrorism charges level against him. [Jane Mugambi| Standard]

A 68-year-old man in Lamu County has pleaded guilty to a charge of terrorism.

Barisa Eleko Balola, who spoke through an interpreter, admitted that he was a member of the Al-Shabaab militant group.

Mr Balola will be sentenced tomorrow after the prosecution provides exhibits it failed to present in court yesterday. The verdict and sentence were postponed due to the lack of exhibits.

After the charge was read to Balola before Lamu Principal Magistrate Njeri Thuku, he affirmed that he belonged to the terrorist group.

When the prosecutor read the charges, Balola, who had no lawyer, retorted: "I agree and I do not see the need to fight the Government."

The charge was read to him three times and elicited the same response. He also claimed to understand the charge.

Balola was arrested in Amkeni, Lamu, on December 12 last year.

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According to the police, he was found with a pair of police trousers, a blood-stained jungle shirt, bullets and a gun.

The magistrate criticised the police for not presenting exhibits in court yet they were dealing with a sensitive matter.

She said she would give her judgement once the exhibits were brought to court.

"I blame the police for not presenting exhibits in court. This case is very sensitive and delicate; therefore, the case has been postponed to Friday when I will give judgement," said Ms Thuku.

The police allege Balola was arrested while wearing a jungle uniform similar to the one worn by security personnel.

They said on searching him, they also found ammunition and an ID card bearing the name Abdulla Kulia Gobu.

According to the police, the suspect also claimed to be a police reservist from Pandanguo in Lamu.

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