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Four Garissa varsity terror attack suspects put on their defence

Suspects of teh Garissa University attack in a Milimani court yesterday /COLLINS KWEYU
Suspects of teh Garissa University attack in a Milimani court yesterday /COLLINS KWEYU

Four of the five people charged with carrying out the Garrisa University terror attack where 150 people were killed on April 2, 2015 have a case to answer.

The suspected terrorists are Mohamed Abikar, Hassan Edin Hassan, Sahal Diriy and Tanzanian Rashid Charles Mberesero.

Chief magistrate Francis Andayi acquitted their co-accused

Hussein Osman Dagane, of all the charges.

Dangane was a watchman at the university and was arrested at the facility

a day after the attack, allegedly taking pictures.

But yesterday Andayi said the person who allegedly

saw Dangane taking pictures did not testify and the mobile phone call data records did not establish a prior communication

between him and the four terrorists he was charged with, and the four others killed by security

officers at the university.

The suspicion against Dangane was because he was a watchman

assigned guard duties at

at the staff quarters but was found at the students' hostels after the attack.

Abikar, Hassan,

Diriy and Mberesero were jointly found guilty of conspiracy to kill 144 students, four security officers and two employees of the university.

The terrorists conspired with their four counterparts who died at the university.

Abikar, Hassan, Diriy and Mberesero

were found guilty of committing

a terrorist act that caused deaths of the 150, and being being members of a terrorist group- Al shabaab.

Abikar was arrested by KDF officers in Mandera after the NIS informed the military of his movements. He was aboard a PSV bus headed to Mandera town.

The slain terrorists included Abdirahim Abdulahi and Khalid Hassan, and two others who have never been identified.

The four were killed by GSU Recce officers and the Anti Terror Police Unit officers recovered two mobile phones from them.

They each had an AK 47 and a military pouch. Only two of them - Abdulahi and Hassan were identified using fingerprints.

The four security officers killed at the university included two KDF personnel and two police officers who were among the first to respond in to rescue the students.

The suspects were found guilty of 152 counts each including being members of a terrorist group and being unlawfully present in Kenya.

A total of 21 witnesses have testified against them including students who survived the attack.

Postmortem reports of 125 bodies was presented before the court as exhibit during the trial of the suspects.

Andayi said the prosecution's evidence was sufficient. Prosecutors Duncan POndimu and Caroline Singei relied heavily on direct and circumstantial evidence to establish the case of conspiracy

between the convicted terrorists and four others killed during the attack.

Safe for Dangane who was arrested at the university compound, the others were arrested with the assistance of the National Intelligence Service. CDR established they were in active communication with their four accomplices killed by Kenyan security forces.

CDR analysis showed that one mobile phone found on slain terrorist Abdulahi's body had communicated with the four convicted terrorists

hours before the dawn attack.

The ATPU established that the convicts

were in communication with the slain attackers and the state prosecution office relied on that as circumstantial evidence to convince the court that they jointly conspired

to kill the deceased victims and secure conviction.

A notebook found in Mberesero's bag at a mosque near the university was written in his handwriting showing he supported Jihad and a witness testified that he found him unusually peculiar at the day of the attack and left behind his bag.

He was later traced and arrested in Tana River county by detectives from the ATPU.

The matter will be mentioned on February 13 for the convicts' mitigation before sentencing.