NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22 – Muslim Cleric Hassan Mahat Omar who is suspected of funding the April 2 terror attack on the Garissa University College which left 148 people dead has been released on bond.
Senior Principal Magistrate Grace Mmasi ordered that Mahat be released on a bond of Sh2 million and a surety of similar amount.
The application for bail was made on Monday when Mahat was charged with inciting Muslims to kill non-Muslims which attracts a jail term of 30 years.
Senior State Counsel Daniel Karori said the accused committed the offence on or before March 6, 2015 at Al-Hidaya Mosque in Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate.
The prosecution had opposed the application for his freedom, saying the suspect had close links with Mohammed Kuno, alias Sheikh Mahammad, alias Dulydin, alias Garmadhere, Al-Shabaab’s leader in the Juba region of Somalia.
He urged the court to take judicial notice of the numerous terror attacks that have recently occurred in the country and the fact that the accused is facing serious charges.
“Sheikh is a high-profile personality and is believed to be a key terrorism financier in the country,” Karori told the court the accused has another pending case and that the charges leveled against him are serious and he may abscond if released on bail.
“The police has information that the accused together with others not before the court have a vast network in the country meant to execute more terrorism attacks,” said Karori.
Defense lawyer Mbugua Mureithi had requested the court to release him on bail, arguing that he was not a flight risk.
“The suspect was arrested on April 17 this year and he has been in custody for a whole month, it is his constitutional right to be released on bail,” he said.
Karori said his release on bail on the grounds that he was not a flight risk will not stop from absconding trial
The case will be heard on July 30 and 31.