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British terror suspect to serve nine years in jail

British terror suspect Jermaine Grant was on Wednesday sentenced to nine years imprisonment following his conviction by the High Court which had set aside a decision by a magistrate to acquit him.

Mr Justice Martin Muya sentenced the accused to one year imprisonment on each of the nine charges he faced.

The Judge, who directed the sentences to run consecutively (one after the other), said the accused has a right to appeal against the sentence.

“It is clear the offences were not committed on the same date, they were not committed in one transaction but in two,” said Justice Muya who also noted that the accused was not a first time offender.

During sentencing, the suspected terrorist, who was dressed in a maroon T-shirt, appeared calm and composed.

Mr Grant had been charged at the magistrate’s court with making a false statement for register of birth, three counts of procuring execution of a document by false pretenses and attempt to procure registration by false pretenses.

Others charges that he faced are making a false document and three counts of uttering a false document.

Immediately after the sentencing, lawyer Chacha Mwita, for the accused, made an application to be supplied with certified copies of the proceedings and judgment to “pursue right of appeal.” His request was granted.

SUCCESSFUL APPEAL

On Tuesday, Justice Muya set aside a decision by then Shanzu Resident Magistrate Anastacia Ndung’u acquitting Mr Grant following a successful appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko.

The Judge allowed the appeal by the DPP, set aside the acquittal and substituted it with a conviction on all the nine charges.

“It was clear, it was the accused who wanted to procure a birth certificate, there is no doubt as to his intention and pivotal role he played,” said Mr Muya.

The judge also noted that the magistrate did not deliberate on the issue of a joint offender noting that two prosecution witnesses participated in commission of the offences.

In mitigation, the accused pleaded for leniency saying he has been in custody since his arrest in 2011.

Through his lawyer, the accused said he has been in enough time in custody since his arrest.

“The court should take into consideration that the accused has been co-operative. There is no entry in the trial court that he has been uncooperative,” said Mr Chacha.

Mr Chacha also urged the court to consider a co-current sentence as a matter of law and practice.

CONVICTED AND SENTENCED

Principal Prosecution Counsel Jami Yamina said the accused had been convicted and sentenced before at the chief magistrate’s court.

Mr Yamina who filed the appeal on behalf of the DPP urged the court to sentence the accused consecutively.

In acquitting Mr Grant early this year, the magistrate said the prosecution did not prove the charges against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

“In the end, I agree that the accused may be a prime suspect in the crime that took place, but a conviction cannot be founded on mere suspicion, however strong,” said the magistrate.

She further stated that the evidence adduced by the prosecution falls far below the threshold of standard proof.

In the petition of appeal, Mr Yamina said the magistrate erred in law by acquitting Mr Grant having found offences had been committed hence the acquittal amounted to a miscarriage of justice.

Mr Yamina further argued that Ms Ndung’u erred in law by acquitting the accused having found the accomplice evidence was credible and corroborated hence the same could form a basis for a conviction.

Mr Chacha had opposed the appeal by the DPP citing among other reasons that the acquittal of his client was proper.