NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 3 – A police officer has been arraigned in a Nairobi court to answer terrorism related charges over the attack at Kapenguria Police Station in which seven police officers were killed.
Abdi Jelle Ali alias Abdimunaf Jelle appeared before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku but could not plead to the charges until Thursday.
At least seven police officers were killed on July 14 in a hostage situation that lasted for over nine hours at the Kapenguria Police Station in West Pokot County.
Later, police identified Abdi Hakim Maslah – a police officer – as the man behind the attack.
On Wednesday in an affidavit, the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) through Sergeant Eric Mwiti urged the court not to release Jelle on grounds that he is a threat to national security.
ATPU said Jelle was arrested on July 19 within Embu town after making derogatory remarks on his Facebook account in reference to the Kapenguria Police Station incident.
Mwiti asked the court to take judicial notice that at the time Jelle was arrested he was a serving police officer and if released on bond was likely to intimidate witnesses.
He wants the court to detain Jelle pending hearing and determination of the case adding that ATPU has already bonded witnesses who are going to testify once trial begins.
“The offence the accused person is facing is serious and it attracts 30 years imprisonment if he is found guilty and convicted,” Mwiti stated. He further told court that in the event Jelle is granted bond he is also likely to jeopardise an ongoing probe and they are yet to arrest his accomplices.
“By granting the suspect bond it is tantamount to allowing him roam about in the country to accomplish his mission and interfering with witnesses and investigations,” he said.
Mwiti also urged the court to take into consideration the rampant terrorism incidents in recent years and Jelle being a police officer swore to uphold and protect the law and not the contrary.
According to the charge sheet, Jelle is accused that on July 16 two days after the Kapenguria attack he knowingly posted on his Facebook account words that were meant to solicit and give support to the commission of terrorism.