Muslim cleric denies weapons charge

January 30, 2012 8:54 am


Aboud Rogo (left), Mohammed Kubwa in the dock/FILE
MOMBASA, Kenya, Jan 30 – A Muslim cleric who was arrested on Sunday in connection with terrorism activities has been charged in court.

Sheikh Aboud Rogo Mohammed however denied the charges.

Rogo was accused of being in possession of dangerous weapons at Kanamai village within Kilifi County.

The prosecution said he was found with an AK-47 Rifle, 113 rounds of ammunitions, two hand grenades, two pistols and 102 detonators in circumstances that indicated he was planning to commit a crime.

The accused who was represented by lawyers Patrick Onjaro and Christine Kipsang was also charged with being in possession of firearms without valid certificates.

The Prosecutor, Inspector Samson Kiptum, opposed a plea for the accused to be released on bond. “Police officers are not through with the investigation a day after his arrest and he is likely to flee should be released on bond,” the prosecutor argued.

“The suspect should not be released on bond since he is likely to interfere with witnesses who are yet to record statements with the police,” objected Kiptum.

He said the accused is facing a serious criminal case pending before a Nairobi court in which he’s accused of being a member of an organized criminal gang known as the Al-Shabaab.

Rogo’s lawyers opposed the prosecution’s move, saying as it was his constitutional right to be released on a bond.

“My client is presumed innocent until proven guilty so he is entitled to bail,” said Onjaro.

“As per the 2010 Kenyan constitution, right to bail is now even available to persons charged with capital offences”, added Rogo’s lawyer.

“Article 19 (3) of the constitution makes it abundantly clear that the rights and fundamental freedoms in the Bill of Rights belong to each individual and are not granted by the state”, said Onjaro.

However, Chief Magistrate Lillian Mutende denied Rogo bail after agreeing with the prosecutor that the accused faces serious charges and set the case for hearing on February 13.


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