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Westgate terror attack: Court postpones sentencing to next week Friday

By Betty Njeru | October 22nd 2020 at 12:14:45 GMT +0300

Court has suspended the sentencing of two suspects implicated in the 2013 Westgate Mall terror attack, to October 30 (Friday next week).

The decision by the court to defer the sentencing was impelled by the prosecution’s failure to produce a pre-sentencing report.

Prosecution said it needed more time to prepare, as it had not interviewed some of the victims.

Others scheduled to visit the Anti-terrorism police unit before Friday, October 30 are yet to do so.

On October 7, 2020, court found the duo- Mohammed Abdi and Hassan Mustafa guilty of terror crimes at Nairobi's Westgate Mall that left 67 people dead and over 200 injured.

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The duo face up to 20 years in prison. 

The suspects appeared before Chief magistrate Francis Wandayi at the Milimani Law Court to face at least 12 counts, among them commission of a terrorism act, being in possession of stolen items and being in the country illegally.

A third suspect, Liban Omar who was acquitted of the charges, was abducted as he left police custody minutes after securing his freedom.

Andayi said that he found no defect in the charges against the third suspect as brought forth by the prosecution. "The irregularities in the process of issuing ID cards cannot be blamed on the third person. The accused was not at the Westgate building during the time of the attack," he ruled.

Liban Abdillahi Omar – who had been on a seven-year trial for supporting the 2013 Westgate Mall attack was leaving the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) headquarters in Upper Hill, Nairobi when he was whisked away by unidentified men, a police report said. 

To date, his whereabouts remain unknown.

Again on January 15, 2019, court freed the fourth suspect-Adan Dheg, for lack ofsufficient evidence.

Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi exonerated Dheg but put Ahmed Abdi, Liban Omar and Hussein Mustafa on their defence.

“I am satisfied that the prosecution has established there is a case to answer against the three suspects, but I will acquit Adan who has no case to answer,” he ruled.

145 witnesses were produced in the course of the trial and the judgement has now been postponed at least four times, all while victims of the attack live in the hope that justice is only delayed but not denied.

Westgate Mall Attack Westgate Terror Suspects
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