Kenyan police still grilling 3 in blast probe

June 17, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 – Capital News has authoritatively established that police are still holding three suspects arrested over the Sunday blasts that killed six people and wounded more than 100 others at Uhuru Park.

The confirmation was made by officers privy to the investigations despite assertions by government Spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua that no suspect had been arrested.

Senior police officers privy to the investigations who spoke to Capital News on Thursday afternoon said the men were “still being interrogated to establish if they participated in planning or executing the grenade attack or if they have any links with the attackers.”

A senior police officer told Capital News that the suspects were arrested on Wednesday afternoon after detectives traced one of them via mobile phone data.

“A text message sent by one of them led us to the others, but we don’t need to go into those details,” the officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said. “The most important thing is that we have suspects in custody and they are helping us a lot.”

He said the suspects were picked up from Kikuyu and Kinoo, on the outskirts of Nairobi after “an intensive search that started on Tuesday morning.”

In his weekly briefing, the government Spokesman maintained that no suspect had been arrested and made reference to a meeting on Monday where the Police Commissioner had said no arrests had been made. 

He did not give journalists an update of the investigation, but instead chose to warn the media against publishing or broadcasting information that would spread fear but did not explain how reports of arrests could cause panic among the public.

“The government urges media to avoid speculation and as earlier requested by the Prime Minister to avoid giving out information that may scare the public,” he said.

One of the officers we spoke to said the team investigating the matter was under instruction to avoid making the progress of the probe public.

The team, we learnt,  has been sending regular briefings to the Commissioner of Police Mathew Iteere who is spearheading the investigation.

“We are making very good progress and more arrests will be made.  We are under instructions to expedite this investigation,” another officer involved in the probe said.

Internal Security Minister George Saitoti on Wednesday told Parliament that the government would go to great lengths to comprehensively investigate the matter.

“The directives are very clear that investigations must be carried out very quickly and we get the report. It is not going to be business as usual,” Prof Saitoti said.

He added: “We have put together a very strong team of experts in the police, in the intelligence and those in the army.”

“Our investigations are focused on a broad spectrum of individuals and I don’t think we should speculate,” Prof Saitoti said.

The Minister was however taken to task by Members of Parliament who accused the police of a security breach during Sunday’s rally.

Police have offered a Sh500,000 reward to anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of those who planned and executed the blast at Uhuru Park.

We could not immediately establish if the Wednesday arrest of three people was a result of information given by the public who would be paid the Sh500,000 reward or just police intelligence.


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