Kenya trial of British bomb plot suspect opens

January 12, 2012 3:24 pm


Judge Mutende adjourned the case, saying the trial will resume on Feb 20/FILE
MOMBASA, Kenya, Jan 12 – The trial of a British man who was reportedly radicalised in the same prison as “shoe bomber” Richard Reid opened in Kenya on Thursday on charges of possessing explosive materials.

Prosecutors last month said Jermaine and two others were found with various chemicals, batteries and switches which they planned to use to make explosives.

“We are not ready to proceed on the grounds that some exhibits were submitted to the government chemist and we have not received a report,” Prosecutor Jacob Ondari said.

Judge Lillian Mutende granted the adjournment, saying the trial would resume on February 20.

Jermaine Grant, a 29-year-old Muslim convert, had denied the charges during a previous court appearance on December 27 following his arrest in the Kenyan coastal resort of Mombasa.

He however pled guilty to charges of being in the country illegally and lying about his nationality, for which he was sentenced to two jail terms of two years, to run concurrently.

Grant’s lawyer, Chacha Mwita, said that police had not provided him with an evidence report that his client and two others were found with bomb-making materials.

“We don’t have the analysis or report of the substance or the material that was recovered. So it is unfortunate that the defence is still in darkness on the evidence that the police have,” Mwita told AFP.

Mwita also said that prosecutors had not proven Grant’s nationality.

Kenya is believed to be interested in questioning Grant over possible links to Somalia’s Al Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab insurgents.

According to Britain’s Sunday Times, Grant became radicalised as a teenager in the same British prison, Feltham young offenders’ institution in London, where Reid first turned to Islam.

Reid, who confessed to being an Al-Qaeda recruit, is serving a life sentence in the United States for trying to blow up a flight from Paris to Miami in December 2001 using bombs hidden in his shoes.


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