Blast suspects face fresh questioning at ATPU

March 13, 2012 9:15 am


One of the suspects in the latest probe Sylvester Opiyo/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13 – A terror suspect and three minors have been questioned afresh by the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) after being freed on bond on Monday night, in the ongoing probe into Saturday night’s grenade attacks in Nairobi.

The four who were detained on Sunday were bailed on Monday night in a bid by the police not to breach a constitutional provision that requires suspects to be arraigned in court or freed after spending 24 hours in custody.

It however remained unclear if Sylvester Opiyo aka Musa Osodo and three minors would be taken to court.

“The suspects are already at the ATPU. I will be joining them later,” their lawyer Chacha Mwita told Capital News on telephone.

A police officer at the ATPU told Capital News the suspects were being questioned to establish if they had any knowledge of the grenade attacks or if they participated in any way.

Opiyo had been on a police watch list since December last year when Police Headquarters released his photograph alongside that of another man who were branded “dangerous terror suspects” at the time.

At the time, the two presented themselves to the police within hours of the announcement that they were wanted but no charges were preferred against them. They were instead set free and ordered to report back on at least two more occasions.

Opiyo had been free until Sunday morning when police pounced on him and arrested him as he helped his sister move into a new house in Nairobi’s Umoja estate.

Three minors-including a Form One student – who were assisting Opiyo offload household items were also arrested and detained until Monday night when they were set free and ordered to report back to the ATPU offices in Milimani Tuesday morning.

It remained unclear if police had gathered enough evidence to sustain any charge against them, but a police officer privy to the interrogations said there was nothing found incriminating on their side.

“Police do not want to just take a case to court for the sake of it. That is why they are buying time… they will have to exhaust all the avenues and seal all the loopholes in the course of their investigations,” the police officer said.

Seven people were left dead and more than 60 people wounded in the attack at the city’s largest and most congested bus terminus which occurred when unknown assailants hurled hand grenades at crowds waiting to board busses.

Three people died on the spot while four others succumbed to injuries at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

Police said on Tuesday they were also investigating reports that there may have been gun shots fired at the crowd at the time of the attack.

It however, remained unclear if the gun shots were fired by the same assailants who were in the assailants’ station wagon.


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