, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 3 – The Tanzanian national found guilty of aiding the 2015 terrorist attack on Garissa University that claimed over 150 lives of mostly students has been handed a life sentence.
Rashid Mberesero and two others were convicted on June 19 by Milimani Magistrate Francis Andayi.
His co-conspirators, Hassan Edin and Mohamed Abdi, will serve a jail term of 41 years each.
While passing the sentence Magistrate Andayi said he had considered the many lives of students lost during the attack who were helpless, innocent and vulnerable.
“In this case many lives were lost and members of the public left in a panic. Having considered their mitigation there is no person in the world who does not know the devastating effects of terror activities,” he said
Sahal Diriy alias Sahali Diriye Hussein who was charged jointly with the three was acquitted, Magistrate Andayi saying 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,” Andayi said when he delivered his ruling on June 19.
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.
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 called four witnesses during sentencing hearing on Wednesday asking the court to sentence the three convicted on June 19, to life.