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Man held over Westlands terror attack to sue state

By Oketch | October 12th 2013


NAIROBI, KENYA: A man who had been held in secret custody on suspicion that he was one of the Westgate terrorists now says he will sue the state for wrongful confinement.  

Ali Kiai Gitonga was released on Thursday evening, a few hours after his family moved to court demanding that he be charged. The family had expressed fears over his life, saying they had not spoken to him for two weeks. They said they feared he could be executed by the police.

Mbugua Mureithi,  the family’s lawyer, told the court that he had received confirmation from the police that Gitonga had been released without any charges being preferred against him.

“Following this development, he is now interested in suing the state for what he endured during the 14 days he was unlawfully held,” the lawyer told the court.

Gunshot wounds

Gitonga’a wife Khadija Mutuli Mohammed, who was in court, confirmed that her husband had been released.

She said he was still recovering from gunshot wounds sustained during the Westgate attack.

Khadija said her husband now walks with a limp following the incident.

The family had on Tuesday told the court that Gitonga was shot by police during the rescue operation at Westgate, before being framed as one of the terrorists.

Meanwhile, a Mombasa court has ordered that a terror suspect who was found in possession of explosives be remanded in police custody for four days.

Mombasa Senior Principal Magistrate Richard Odenyo ordered Swaleh Abdallah Said to be remanded at Makupa Police Station to allow Anti-terrorism police to complete their investigations.

Abdallah, who was arrested at Likoni on Thursday at 7am, has denied that on October 10 at 7.40am in Likoni he was found in possession of explosives.


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