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Police constable charged in court over Kapenguria station attack

RIFT VALLEY
By Fred Makana | August 4th 2016
Police officer Abdi Jelle Ali alias Abdimunaf Jelle when he appeared before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku. (Photo: David Njaaga)

A police officer was Wednesday charged with terrorism in relation to the Kapenguria police station attack.

Abdi Jelle Ali alias Abdimunaf Jelle appeared before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku but could not plead to the charges. He will plead today, August 4.

On July 14, seven police officers were killed in a hostage situation that lasted for over nine hours at Kapenguria Police Station in West Pokot County. Later, police identified Abdi Hakim Maslah, who is a police officer, as the man behind the attack.

Wednesday in a sworn affidavit, Sergeant Eric Mwiti from the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU), urged the Nairobi court not to release Mr Jelle on grounds that he was a security threat.

ATPU said Jelle was arrested on July 19 in Embu town after making derogatory remarks on his Facebook account in reference to the Kapenguria attack.

Mr Mwiti said at the time Jelle was arrested, he was a serving police officer and if released on bond, he would likely intimidate witnesses.

"The offence the accused person is facing is serious and it attracts 30 years imprisonment if he is found guilty and convicted," he said.

He added that in the event Jelle is granted bond, he would jeopardise investigations considering they were yet to arrest his accomplices.

"Granting the suspect bond is tantamount to allowing him roam about in the country to accomplish his mission," he said.

According to the charge sheet, Jelle is accused that on July 16, two days after the Kapenguria attack, he knowingly posted on his Facebook account words that were meant to solicit and give support to commission of terror.

The post read: "hahahh ati wanatueta Al Shabaab, hawa ni bure-kijana kidogo kurutu anaangaesha station muzima na kama commando kama mimi wote ningewamaliza bro,(they call us Al Shabaab, they are useless if a young recruit can hold hostage a police station what if it was a commando like me? I could have finished them all brother).

Jelle is also facing incitement to terrorism charges in which it is alleged that on same date he posted words on his Facebook account that were meant to incite a group of people to carry out terrorist act.

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