NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – The Supreme Court is Friday afternoon set to render its decision on two Iranian terror suspects whose acquittal by the Court of Appeal was quashed by the apex court in September last year.
Ahmad Mohammed and Sayeed Mousavi had been convicted of three terrorism-related charges after they were found in possession of 15 kilograms of cyclotrimethyle trinitramine, a lethal chemical used to assemble explosives, in June 2012.
The two suspects had secured their freedom at the Court of Appeal after lodging a second appeal, the High Court having upheld a guilty verdict rendered by a magistrate’s court.
Justices Daniel Musinga, Roselyn Nambuye, and Steven Gatembu set Mohammed and Mousavi free in February 2018, citing insufficient evidence adduced by the prosecution.
In allowing the prosecution’s application for appeal, Chief Justice David Maraga, Justices Jackton Ojwang, Mohammed Ibrahim, Njoki Ndung’u and Smokin Wanjala said the aquital of the Iranians had set a bad precedent.
“Consequently, we order that pending the filing, hearing and final determination of the applicant’s intended appeal, the respondents’ acquittal by the Court of Appeal is, hereby, stayed and the respondents shall be held in police custody,” the apex court directed last year.
The Supreme Court judges said the acquittal would undermine investigations of similar cases in the future.
Further, the judges noted that the case touched on national security, and as a matter of public interest the appeal ought to be granted.
The case took a new twist last month when the Iranian diplomat in the country was accused of attempting to facilitate the escape of the two Iranians from the country. The foreign envoy denied the allegations.
On Wednesday, a resident magistrate allowed the detention until Friday, of two suspects involved in the alleged plot to facilitate the escape of the Iranians from the country.
Wesley Kiptanui Kipkemoi (a prison warder) and Shemgrant Agyei, a Ghanaian businessman, were detained on orders of Milimani Resident Magistrate Zainabu Abdul.
The magistrate released Bundi Nyangarasi, an advocate accused of colluding with the two, on a Sh 100,000 bail, directing him to report to the police regularly.
Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) had made the request to have the three detained as they sought the help of technology experts to recover CCTV footage of the suspects’ alleged meetings to plan the release of the Iranians.