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Court visits Westgate’s ruins

The trial of four men facing charges in relation to the Westgate Shopping mall terror attack moved to the scene of the incident on Tuesday.

The scene visit followed a request by the prosecution to visit the mall for purposes of familiarization.

There was tight security inside and outside the mall during the scene visit as the accused who were also present followed the proceedings keenly.

Mr Adan Abdikadir, Mohamed Abdi, Liban Abdullah and Hussein Hassan allegedly on September 21 last year jointly with others not before court carried out a terrorist attack at Westgate Shopping mall.

Other charges facing some of the accused include giving support to terrorist group and habouring of persons committing a terrorist acts.

Witnesses showed the court where they were situated at the mall during the terrorist attack on September 21 last year.

Administration Police constable Ali Miraj showed the court where he was positioned on the first floor of the mall when the terrorists struck.

Mr Miraji almost re-enacted the event by showing the court how he took cover and exchanged fire with the attackers.

He demonstrated to the court how he moved from one pillar to another where his colleague was located.

In his evidence in court, he said he had shot at the attackers to prevent them from using escalators to access the first floor.

He said the attackers fled and the sound of gun shots stopped for about five to ten minutes before another shot was heard from the second floor where he saw two other attackers.

Another witness Mr Stephen Juma, a guard at the mall, also showed the court where he was located while directing traffic along Peponi road during the incident.

The head of the security at the mall Mr Paul Mulandi, who also gave his evidence, took the court round the mall from the ground floor to the third floor.

The court was shown areas where a supermarket, salon, art café and other businesses were located prior to the attack.

Mr Mulandi also showed the court the flower section near the entrance to the mall where he hid after he encountered two attackers.

Hearing will continue on January 27.