Iran envoy denies plot to free nationals from jail, argues victim of extortion

February 25, 2019 4:16 pm
He further added that the two people asked for an unspecified amount of money from him, a request that he did not accept/CFM NEWS

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 25 – The Iranian ambassador to Kenya has denied claims that he tried to free two terror suspects who are at the centre of a Supreme Court battle in which the DPP is challenging their acquittal in a terror case.

Ambassador Hadi Farajvand instead claimed he was the victim of an extortion bid, which he said he reported to Kenya’s Interior Ministry.

“I was the one who reported to the Interior Ministry that there were two people who approached me to prepare the departure of the two Iranian nationals saying they would be released,” he said.

He further added that the two people asked for an unspecified amount of money from him, a request that he did not accept.

“These people who said they were acting on behalf of the Interior Ministry asked me for money. They however did not say how much money they wanted and immediately I realised they wanted a bribe which I did not offer,” Farajvand added.

He had a difficult time trying to explain why he booked tickets for the two Iranian terror suspects about the same time the plot was being hatched.

“Reserving the tickets does not mean we wanted to aid the escape of those two people from the country… how do we get them out of police custody? Previously when the Court of Appeal set them free, we had their tickets ready but that does not mean we wanted to aid their escape,” he said.

“Again, the reason we book tickets earlier is because you know if you do not act on time, then the time they want to go back, the airlines might not have those seats so to be on a safe side we reserved them but that does not mean we had any other arrangements.”

The Iranian nationals, Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammed and Sayed Mansour Mousavi, are in custody pending a decision by the Supreme Court whether to release them or not.

On Monday afternoon, three people among them a Ghanaian were arraigned over the attempt to unlawfully secure their release. They two were initially jailed for life over explosives recovered in Mombasa seven years ago.

They appealed the verdict in the High Court and the sentence was reduced to 15 years. They then moved to the court of Appeal which overturned the verdict and set them free.

On Monday, Wesley Kiptanui Kipkemoi, Sgemgrant Agyei and Robin Bundi appeared before Nairobi Magistrate Peter Ooko with the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit requesting to continue holding them for 30 days to conclude ongoing probe.

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