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Two terror suspects released without charges

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Two terror suspects who surrendered to the police on Christmas Eve have been released without charges.

Sylvester Owino Opiyo aka Musa Osodo of Siaya district and Hussein Nderitu Abbas aka Mohammed of Nyeri were set free on Tuesday morning following intervention from their lawyer Mbiu Kamau.

“My clients have been set free and no charges have been preferred on them. They have just been told to report back to the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) on Friday,” Mr Kamau told Capital News on telephone.

He however, protested that the police had infringed on his clients’ rights “because they were arrested on Saturday when they surrendered and they have remained in custody until today. Yet they were not taken to court.”

He said his clients were also concerned at the manner in which the police hurriedly distributed their photographs and details casting them as “dangerous terror suspects who were wanted by the police yet they were out on bond.”

“These are not people who were in hiding. They had appeared in court earlier when they were arrested and they were granted bond to appear in court when required, how then can the police issue their photographs and brand them wanted criminals. These are the concerns my clients are raising,” the lawyer said as he escorted the suspects out of the ATPU headquarters in Nairobi.

They had been detained at the Kilimani police station since Saturday when they gave themselves in.

“Clearly these are not people to go into hiding. Immediately they learnt that they were wanted by the police they quickly surrendered and this confirms their character,” lawyer Chacha Mwita who accompanied them to the ATPU offices on Saturday when they surrendered said.

They surrendered after police headquarters released their photographs and details describing them as having links with Al Shabaab and plotting terrorist activities.

Mr Mwita said they opted to surrender to avoid any confrontation with the police.

A brief issued from Police headquarters by Spokesman Erick Kiraithe on Saturday had indicated that the suspects have cases pending in court but he did not give any further details.

The Police Spokesman’s brief statement described them as “Dangerous men whom we have every reason to believe that they are out on a dangerous terrorist mission. If we don’t get them we are likely to have trouble. We have intelligence on that.”

Mr Kiraithe was not immediately available on Tuesday to comment on their release.

The suspects were being held alongside six others arrested earlier in the week who were equally described by Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere as “dangerous suspects whom we believe have strong ties with Al Shabaab.”


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