Kenya adjourns trial of Somalis on Westgate Mall attack-UPDATED

Four Somalis are charged with aiding suspected attackers who had besieged the mall last year.

Kenya adjourns trial of Somalis on Westgate Mall attack-UPDATED

World Bulletin / News Desk

The trial of four Somalis charged with aiding suspected terrorists in a deadly attack on Nairobi's Westgate has been adjourned until March 5.

"The suspects were not at Westgate on 21st September when the terrorist attack occurred," defense lawyer Mbugua Mureithi told Anadolu Agency on Monday.

"They have never been to Westgate. And they don't know the people who attacked Westgate. So there is no connection between the suspects I am representing and those who attacked Westgate."

The four suspects – Hassan Abdi Mohamed, Mohamed Osman Ali, Ilyas Yusuf Warsame and Gerald Hassan Fer – are alleged to have assisted suspected terrorists in an attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall last September.

The days-long saga left 67 people dead.

The defendants, for their part, have denied all charges.

"I think the prosecution intends to build its case on the strength of the fact that the accused were connected to the Westgate attackers," Mureithi said.

Two prosecution witnesses testified during Monday's trial session.

Inspector Newton Mwiti, from Kenya’s anti-terrorism police unit, told the court that he retrieved five SIM card holders from the car that allegedly carried the attackers to Westgate.

"Analysis of the cards indicated that four cell phone numbers had been used," Mwiti told the court.

He said that a user of one of the cellphone numbers was Mohammed Abdi Noor.

Another witnesses, Calistus Ngesa, a casual laborer at Westgate, recollected how he heard an explosion at the mall.

"I saw a slim man with a black head scarf coming towards us armed with a chain-fed belt and machine gun and grenades," he said.

Ngesa said in the twinkling of an eye, a grenade was hurled at him, blowing off his toes.

So far, 14 witnesses have testified since the trial started six weeks ago.

Last Mod: 04 Mart 2014, 11:06
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