A Kenyan court on Thursday (December 13th) charged six Somali nationals with illegal possession of firearms and explosives, as well as planning to disrupt December festivities in Garissa, starting with Wednesday's Jamhuri Day celebrations.
Friday, December 14, 2012
The suspects were arraigned before Garissa Principal Magistrate John Onyiego. They were also charged with travelling without refugee documentation and residing outside their designated areas without official authority.
Mohamed Jiro Hassan, Ali Hassan Aden, Ismail Noor Ahmed, Ali Mohamed Ali, Zeinab Beina and Sameyi Iftin denied the charges and appealed for leniency.
The six were intercepted in a vehicle on Tuesday in Amuma near the Kenyan-Somali border. Upon searching the vehicle, police found two pistols, two hand grenades and 85 bullets. Four other suspects escaped during the operation, according to Garissa County Commissioner Mohamed Maalim.
The suspects told Onyiego that they hitched a ride in the vehicle and were heading to Hagadera refugee camp in the Dadaab refugee complex.
Police prosecutor Wachira Karuri asked the court to remand the suspects to the Garissa police station, saying that releasing them on bond would interfere with the police investigation.
Onyiego said the case is touches on matters of national security and ordered the suspects to remain in police custody until their trial scheduled for December 27th.