Court allows more time in cells for cocaine suspect

Omar Sharif Hussein at a Mombasa Court on August 23, 2019. [Kelvin Karani]

A Mombasa businessman arrested on Thursday has been detained for four days pending further investigations on his involvement in drug trafficking.

Omar Sharif Hussein (pictured) was arrested by police officers from Anti-Narcotics Unit on Thursday last week and presented in court on Friday evening where the prosecution requested that he be detained for seven days.

His lawyers opposed his detention, arguing that there was no substantial evidence against him and accused the prosecution of malice.

While pleading with the court to have the suspect detained before Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti, Eric Masila, for the prosecution, argued that the Judiciary has been blamed for delaying justice.

He cited last week's demonstration outside a hotel where judge's were meeting where protestors blamed judiciary for slowing down drug-related cases.

Masila told the court that the suspect was being investigated in relation to trafficking of cocaine with a market value of Sh11,917,600.

He said two other suspects, Juma Majibu Suleiman and Saady Bashir Omar have been charged before another court.

The prosecution told the court that the investigations were being conducted by a multi-agency team and would involve traversing the country and abroad

Masila further told the court that prosecution needed more time to  pursue all leads and that the case entailed collaborating with other investigating agencies within the region.

“Owing for the said reason, we request this honorable court to detain the suspect for seven days so that the investigations into the complex web can be completed, and determination to charge the the suspect is made,” he told the court.

However, Hussein's lawyers, Gachiri Kariuki, Collins Ondeng and George Egunza accused police of frustrating him despite having found no evidence in his house.

The lawyers told the court that investigations could still continue without detaining Hussein.

“The suspect is a resident of Mombasa whose family is in Mombasa. He is available anytime the investigating officers want him. The court can direct that the suspect is released on bond or cash bail and ordered to leave his passport in case the investigating officers think he might be a flight risk. I don’t see any substantial reason the suspect should be detained,” argued Ondeng.

The court declined the prosecution's request for seven days and instead allowed police to detain Hussein for four days at Port Police Station.

The matter will be mentioned on August 27, 2019.