Capital FM Kenya
Thursday, June 28, 2012
The two Iranians charged for being in possession of dangerous explosives have told the court that they were tortured by Israeli security agents while in police custody.
Their allegations were however, dismissed by the Prosecution led by Chief Inspector Nzau Musangi who told the court the allegations were false.
The suspects –Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammad and Sayed Mansour Mousavi—told the court that they needed to be taken to hospital to seek medical attention.
Nairobi Senior Principal Magistrate Paul Biwott who denied them bail ordered that they be escorted to the Nairobi Hospital for treatment, but at their own cost.
A lawyer representing them David Kirimi told the court that the continued detention of the suspects was likely to damage the bilateral relations between the two countries, but he was overruled by the Prosecution which said he was not well placed to speak about bilateral relations between Kenya and Iran.
In urging the court to detain them, Chief Inspector Musengi said the suspects pose a serious threat to the country’s security in light of recent terror activities.
The magistrate denied the Iranians bail after they were unable to state the kind of business [s] they conduct in Kenya and have no sureties to ensure they do not abscond court appearance. The Prosecution has also said they are a flight risk.
Their case has been fixed for hearing on July 23.
Charges against the two read that they were found with 15 kilograms of RDX explosives in circumstances which indicated that they were armed with intent to commit a felony otherwise known as grievous harm.
“The offence was committed on or before 20th June, 2012 at Mombasa Golf Course along Mama Ngina drive in the port city,” a charge sheet brought before them stated.
They have both denied the charges.
Police have intensified security patrols and intelligence gathering following the arrests of the foreigners and a grenade attack that occurred in Mombasa on Sunday night, killing three people.
30 other people were wounded in the attack that occurred at Jericho Beer Garden, a bar in Mishomoroni within Kisauni, some seven kilometers from Mombasa town.
“Two of the victims died in hospital. One had died earlier at the scene of the blast,” Kenya Red Cross spokeswoman Nelly Muluka said.
Most people in the club were football fans following the Euro 2012 quarter-final match in Kiev between England and Italy.
Provincial police Chief Aggrey Adoli said 30 people were still in hospital with injuries from the blast Monday morning, while the Red Cross put the number at 25.
“One of those wounded people is assisting us because he is providing contradictory statements. He is being held as a suspect,” Adoli said.
It was not clear who was behind Sunday’s attack, but since Kenya sent tanks and troops into Somalia late last year, grenade and other attacks have intensified in Nairobi, the Mombasa area and in eastern towns and refugee camps close to the border.
The Kenyan authorities often blame such attacks on Somalia’s Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Shabaab rebels.
Sunday’s attack came just two days after the United States had warned its citizens of an imminent threat of such an attack in Mombasa and Kenyan police had arrested two Iranians on suspicion of planning bomb attacks.
On Friday, the US embassy said all government travel to Mombasa was suspended until July 1.
Just hours before Sunday’s attack, a senior Kenyan official had denounced the US warning.
“It is a reckless advisory and it was totally uncalled for,” the head of the Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, Francis Kimemia, told journalists in Mombasa. The US has said it will not lift the travel advisory.
France’s embassy in Nairobi also warned its citizens to be “extremely vigilant” in Mombasa and the surrounding area.