, KAMPALA, Uganda, Jul 30 – A Ugandan court on Friday charged three Kenyans with 76 counts of murder, the first such cases opened against suspects in the July 11 suicide attacks in Kampala.
Hussein Hassan Agad, Mohamed Adan Abdow and Idris Magondu were charged before a Kampala magistrates court, but did not enter a plea.
They face 61 counts of murder for those killed while watching the World Cup final at the Kyadondo Rugby Club in the east of the Ugandan capital and 15 counts for those killed at an Ethiopian restaurant.
Chief Magistrate Deo Sejjemba said the accused were not allowed to enter a plea because the court does not have jurisdiction over the crime of terrorism.
The three will reappear at the magistrates court on August 27, but will not be permitted to plead to the charges until Uganda\’s Directorate of Public Prosecutions decides the case is ready to move to the High Court.
The three men were remanded to prison.
The charge sheet identified Agad as "a preacher of Islam," while Magondu was identified as an employee of a trading company in Nairobi.
Asked by AFP on his way out of the court room if he was involved in the attacks, Magondu smiled and said "no."
These are the first individuals charged in relation to the twin blasts that have been claimed by Somalia\’s Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab Islamists.
Police have previously said there is "very strong evidence" that the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers.
National police spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba told AFP earlier on Friday that several Pakistani citizens are still being held for questioning in connection with the blasts, but they have not been charged with any crimes.
At least one of the Pakistani individuals was identified in email obtained by police as the Kampala-based coordinator for the Shebab.
Somalia\’s Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab insurgents claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were to punish Uganda for sending troops for the African Union mission in the Horn of Africa country.