, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 12 – Four men charged over a recent blast at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport have each been released on bond of Sh20 million with two Kenyan sureties of similar amount.
The four Somali nationals were charged a week ago over suspicion of masterminding the attack at a restaurant, which was initially said to be a bulb explosion. They however denied the allegations.
Chief Magistrate Doreen Mulekyo while freeing them said the Constitution allowed their release on bail.
“The court has to give protection on both sides and cannot take away the rights of the accused as provided by the Constitution,” Mulekyo ruled.
“The objection by the prosecution fails since they have not provided proper facts that the accused will interfere with witnesses or tamper with the evidence.”
The court has also directed Hassan Abdi Mohamed, Mohamed Osman Ali, Yusuf Warsame and Garad Hassan Fer to report to the CID headquarters every Friday until further directions are issued.
The four had allegedly been found with explosives on January 16 at Shauri Moyo trading centre.
A bullet riddled body of a man thought to be their accomplice was found in a vehicle within the area.
Police said the vehicle was sprayed with bullets while speeding from the airport soon after the blast, which Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo had at the time dismissed as a ‘bulb explosion’.
Anti terrorism police unit officer, Leonard Bwire had in an affidavit said that the four acquired Kenyan identification documents fraudulently and had been sneaking in and out of Somalia at will.
Bwire claimed that their goal was either to train with the Al-Shabaab or to bring explosives to Kenya.
The prosecution has already indicated plans of amending the charges to include that of fraudulently obtaining Kenyan passports.
“The ATPU has information that the terrorist attack at the Java Restaurant within the JKIA on 16 January was planned and executed by the suspects together with others who are yet to be arrested,” explained the officer.
Bwire also revealed that the suspects led police officers to their residences in Ushirika Estate within Eastleigh where an inventory of the items recovered was made.
He further claimed that the suspects have a vast network in the country aimed at carrying out terrorist attacks on public gatherings and foreign establishments.