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Garissa terror suspects accuse police of torture

The suspects held over the Garissa University College terrorist attack have complained of inhuman treatment in the hands of police officers handling the case.

The suspects told a trial court that they were tortured for ten consecutive days as the anti-terrorism police tried to extract confessions from them.

Speaking through an interpreter, the four Somalis and a Tanzanian claimed the police ducked their heads in buckets full of water, electrocuted and whipped them after they denied involvement in the terrorist attack in which 148 people, mainly students, were killed.

On Thursday, Mohammed Ali Abikar, Hassan Edin Hassan, Sahal Diriye Hussein Osman Abdi Dagane, Hassan Edin Hassan and Rashid Charles Mberesero were charged with 152 counts of committing terrorism acts. They denied the charges.

They were also charged with conspiring with Al Shabaab terrorists to attack the institution.

The prosecution alleges that the suspects jointly with Abdirahim Mohammed Abdulahi and Khalid Issack Hassan, who were killed in a counter-strike, alongside others who were not before court, colluded to carry out the terrorist attack.

STRONG EVIDENCE

Police want the suspect detained until the conclusion of their trial and have presented a sworn affidavit objecting to their release on bail.

“Based on strong evidence so far gathered linking the suspects in the planning and execution of the attack, the accused persons, if released on bail, are likely to commit more terrorist attacks calculated to intimidate the government,” an affidavit from Anti-Terrorism Police Unit’s Anthony Sunguti states.

The prosecution says the suspects may also be tempted to flee if granted bond as the charges they face attract life imprisonment upon conviction.

“Terror attacks in the county have caused great public apprehension,”prosecutor Danile Karuri said.

The presiding magistrate Danile Ochenja directed that the suspects be detained till June 11 when the bail determination will be made.

Meanwhile, the case has been fixed for hearing on august 24 and 25. The state has, however, not yet listed any witnesses for the trial.

On April 2 suspected Al Shabaab terrorists stormed the learning institution killing 148 people in what is believed to have been one of a series of retaliatory attacks against Kenyan military intervention in the war torn Somalia.

This story first appeared in the Daily Nation