Hassan Mahat Omar, alias Sheik Hassan, in a Nairobi court on Monday, May 18, 2015, where he was charged with incitement to kill on March 6, 2015 at Al-Hidaya Mosque in Eastleigh, Nairobi. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
An Islamic preacher who police linked to the Garissa University College attack was on Monday charged in Nairobi with inciting Muslims to kill non-Muslims.
Hassan Mahat Omar faces a 30-year jail term if convicted.
The prosecution said he committed the offence on or before March 6, 2015 at Al-Hidaya Mosque in Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate.
The offensive utterances — although not included in the particulars of the charge sheet which was read out in court — are allegedly contained in a compact disk titled Sheikh Hassan and which the police say the preacher personally published.
Mr Omar is facing another case in which he is charged alongside his wife Fordosa Mohammed with being found in possession of two hand grenades.
The case is pending judgment at the Milimani Law Courts.
On Monday, prosecutor Daniel Karori oppose his release on bail, saying he was a terror suspect.
“He faces a serious charge of inciting Muslims to kill non-Muslims and another case of being found in possession of explosives, of which point to the involvement of the accused person in offences against the public.
“We also ask the court to take judicial notice of the numerous terrorist attacks that target non-Muslims and deny him bail,” Mr Karuri submitted.
ARRESTED A MONTH AGO
Mr Omar was arrested a month ago and detained for investigations over his alleged involvement in the Garissa attack in which 148 people, including 142 students, were killed.
The police had claimed he financed one of the worst terrorist attacks in the country and that he had been in “constant” communication with Mohammed Kuno, a leader of Al-Shabaab and the suspected mastermind of the Garissa attack.
He had also been accused of “radicalising” the youth and facilitating their exodus to Somalia for recruitment into Al-Shabaab.
His lawyer Mbugua Mureithi on Monday protested that the present charge was not related to what he had been arrested and detained for a month ago.
“There was also an averment that he had obtained his identity card fraudulently but the matter has been through a full trial at the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Kibera, where he was acquitted in 2012,” Mr Mbugua told the court, while opposing the prosecution’s request to have Omar detained till the new case is heard and determined.
The lawyer said the present charge was defective as “no verbatim statement of incitement” was stated neither has Mr Omar been proven to be the maker of the offensive CD.
Senior Principal Magistrate Grace Mumasi deferred the ruling on whether the suspect may be released on bond or not to Friday, May 22.
The case has been fixed for hearing on July 30 and 31.