NAIROBI, Kenya, May 6 – Two Iranians found guilty of possessing explosives have been sentenced to serve the remainder of their lives in a Kenyan prison.
Sayed Mousavi and Ahmed Mohammed were handed the terms after they were convicted for intending to cause grievous harm, possession of explosives and plotting a crime.
Nairobi Chief Magistrate Waweru Kiarie ruled that the evidence adduced by the prosecution established beyond reasonable doubt that the two had in their possession powerful explosives that could bring down a big building like Nairobi’s Times Tower.
“I shudder to imagine the amount of life and property damage that could have been forever destroyed,” Kiarie said in passing the life sentence.
“Even as I hear the accused persons mitigating and crying for mercy; there is yet a louder cry by the blood of previous victims of terrorist attacks… the orphans, widows and widowers all are crying for justice,” he ruled dismissing submissions given in mitigation by the defence counsels.
The magistrate ruled that police should forthwith destroy the explosives that were recovered from the two.
The two were found with 15 kilograms of RDX explosives in circumstances which police indicated were intent on causing grievous harm.
The offence was committed in June 2012 at a golf course on Mama Ngina Drive.
Both who denied the charges when their case was mentioned in 2012 will be required to file appeals within two weeks.
In mitigation before the sentencing the two had through their lawyers urged for a non custodial sentence citing various concerns on their health status. They both said to be having conditions that would be hard to manage if they are serving custodial sentences.
Mohamed, 51, represented by Kiraithe Wandugi submitted that he needed a lenient sentence being a first offender and also due to the fact that his heart was functioning partly using mechanical vessels implanted in his body.
Wandugi said that Mohammed did not merit a tough sentence as no harm had been perpetrated by the explosives he had.
Lawyer David Murimi representing Mousavi, 50 had in mitigation submitted that none of the counts called for mandatory maximum sentences.
He told the court that the accused needed a second chance being a first offender. Further he told the court that Mousavi had contracted an infection of his prostrate while in remand and needed to be closely monitored by medics.
Wives of the two terrorists in a statement after the sentencing said that they will advise their legal teams to appeal the conviction and sentence.
According to the wives, the two men are victims of forces from outside the court.
“We will be opposing the verdict and the ruling of the court for condemning and sentencing our husbands. We believe that there was some extrajudicial pressure which has influenced matters in the files of our husbands. If the matter had been dealt with in a normal legal procedure today because of lack of direct evidence we would have been leaving with our husbands,” they said in a statement read by a counsellor (Mohammed Zaboli) from the Embassy of Iran.
On Sunday, Iran said that the linking of its two nationals to a bomb plot in Mombasa was influenced by western nations.
Iran’s ambassador to Kenya Malek Givzad said is there was no sufficient evidence against the two.
“There are a number of countries that do not like to see the developing countries working together. The issue of the two people is simply a plot against Kenya and Iran’s good relations,” the ambassador said.