, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 19 – A Tanzanian is among three terror suspects found guilty Wednesday of facilitating a 2015 terror attack that left 148 people, many of them students, dead at Garissa University.
Rashid Charles Mberesero, Hassan Edin and Mohamed Abdi alias Mohamed Ali Abikar were found to have actively planned the attack with Al-Shabaab operatives.
Sahal Diriy alias Sahali Diriye Hussein was acquitted, with the sentencing of the three set for July 3.
Magistrate Francis Andayi said the prosecution which relied on circumstantial evidence had presented a strong case against the three suspects found guilty of the April 2, 2015 dawn attack that devastated the nation.
“The court finds that they knew the plot and were part of the attackers as they were arrested while travelling from Garissa two days after the attack,” he said
The court rejected defenses argument that they could not have been co-conspirators yet they do not know each other.
“It is not necessary for them to know each other as they could have met through a third party,” he added.
With regard to Mberesero, the Tanzanian, he was acquitted the charge of being unlawfully present in the country but the court wondered why, no official from the University testified in court to confirm whether he was a student.
This is after it emerged during trial that on the day of the attack – April 2, 2015 – he remained in the hostel and could not satisfactorily explain why he was there.
“I find it intriguing that no official from the university came to testify in this matter,” he said.
Prosecutor Duncan Ondimu indicated he intends to call four witnesses during sentencing hearing on July 3.
The court heard the prosecution will be asking for life imprisonment.
During the sentencing hearing the probation officer will table a report from victims of the terror attack particularly from a village that lost 11 students.