NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 1 – A magistrate court in Nyeri on Friday set free three suspects whom the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit had linked to the 14 Riverside Drive terrorist attack last month that left 21 dead.
According to the court, the prosecution failed to prove Abdul Kibiringi, James Mwai and Habiba Hunshur had links to the five attackers who staged the terrorist attack on January 15.
Resident Magistrate Nelly Kariuki had on Monday allowed police to detain the three, pending an appearance before her court today after the police asked for more time to conclude investigations.
The police investigation, the prosecution had told the court, involved retrieval of call logs and other related data that police believed would help in ongoing investigations.
Meanwhile, six officials of the national transport agency are due Friday morning where police will be seeking to detain them for more days to conclude investigations over their involvement in the 14 Riverside Drive terrorist attack.
Charles Wangocho, Stephen Kariuki, Nderitu Irving, Cosmas Ngeso, Jacqueline Githinji, and Anthony Mjaka are believed to be part of a criminal web at the National Transport and Safety Authority irregularly issuing vehicle registration numbers.
The arrest of the six is linked to the discovery of a vehicle in Kitengela with an identical registration number as the one used by terrorists who attacked 14 Riverside Drive on January 15.
Already the police are holding another NTSA official – Augustine Mulwa Musembi – after a magistrate court on Wednesday last week authorized detention for thirty days to allow the police conclude investigations.
The three suspects set free on Friday were among fifteen accused persons the public prosecutor presented in court following the 14 Riverside Drive attack, five other suspects having been arraigned in court on January 18.
The ATPU was granted thirty days to hold five suspects arraigned three days after the Riverside attack, among them a Canadian.
Joel Ng’ang’a Wainaina, Oliver Kanyango Muthee, Gladys Kaari Justus, Guleid Abdihakim (Canadian) and Osman Ibrahim — are said to have facilitated five Al Shabaab terrorists who launched the deadly attack on January 15 described by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma as having targeted the world.
A detailed chronology of the five suspects arraigned in court on January 18 indicated that they had been arrested between January 16 and 17.
Wainaina was arrested around MP Shah Hospital in Nairobi on Wednesday, while Muthee, a taxi driver was arrested on January 17.
Kaari, a mobile-money transfer agent was arrested in Maua, Meru County, on January 16, whereas Abdihakim was arrested on January 17.
The fifth suspect, Ibrahim, was arrested at the Two Rivers Mall in Nairobi on January 17.
A sixth suspect was later arraigned separately on January 23.