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Eastleigh grenade couple denied bail

An Eastleigh couple facing a charge of being in possession of two hand grenades and committing a terrorism act have been denied bond.

This means that Mr Hassan Mahat and his wife Fardosa Mohamed Abdi will have their trial conducted while being held in custody.

Nairobi acting senior principal magistrate Ms Elena Nderitu said releasing the accused on bond at the current stage of the proceedings will diminish public confidence.

Ms Nderitu who said she takes judicial notice of terrorists’ attacks in country however noted that bail application by the couple can be made at a later stage.

The magistrate upheld an affidavit by the investigation officer saying it was applicable before the case against the couple as he (investigation officer) took oath and enumerated it.

The accused have since taking plea been remanded at Industrial area and Lang’ata Women’s remand prisons respectively.

Through his affidavit, the investigation officer police constable Claus Shuma had urged the court not to release the accused on bond saying they are dangerous.

“There is a possibility of the respondents obtaining more grenades when released on bail and use the same to achieve Al shabaab interests,” said Mr Shuma.

According to the officer, the accused are influential people in the society and if granted bail may jeopardize and interfere with the recovery of remaining grenades.

Mr Shuma said considering the gravity of the charge facing the accused which attracts life sentence, they are likely to abscond.

Prosecutor Isaiah Mwirega in addition to what the officer deponed told the court that despite the police knowing the residence of the accused, it was not a defence they will not abscond.

“We do agree the accused right to a fair trial, but a fair trial for accused as an individual should not be given priority considering the risk affecting the state,” said Mr Mwirega.

He added that denying the accused bail should not be construed to mean denial of justice but a security measure.

Defence lawyer Winston Ngaira had dismissed the affidavit of the investigation officer saying it was not valid before court.

Mr Ngaira said the affidavit by Mr Shuma contains hearsay and it is speculative hence the court ought to reject it.

“Compelling reasons must be proved, what is in the affidavit does not meet the threshold, “said Mr Ngaira.

The defence lawyer said there is no evidence that the accused will abscond court if released and that the police are aware of all the facts about them including where they live.

The accused who denied the charges against them allegedly were found in possession of the grenades with serial numbers not visible intended to cause grievous harm to the public.

The couple also allegedly being members of Al Shabaab was found in possession of the grenades which were meant to be used for terrorist activities.

According to the prosecution, the offence was committed on April 1 this year at Madina Apartments in Eastleigh Section 7 within Kamukunji, Nairobi County.

The case will be heard on June 25.