Garissa attack: Three found guilty in Kenya

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Suspects Hassan Aden Hassan, Mohamed Ali Abdikar, Rashid Charles Mberesero and Sahal Diriye sit in the dock as they wait for the verdict where they were charged with helping those who carried out the attack on Garissa University in 2015; at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi, Kenya June 19, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
Suspects Hassan Aden Hassan, Mohamed Ali Abdikar, Rashid Charles Mberesero and Sahal Diriye sit in the dock as they wait for the verdict where they were charged with helping those who carried out the attack on Garissa University in 2015; at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi, Kenya June 19, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

A Kenyan court has found three men guilty, and another acquitted, over the 2015 Garissa university massacre in eastern Kenya, which left 148 people killed, mostly students.

Rashid Charles Mberesero, Mohamed Ali Abikar, and Hassan Edin Hassan were convicted at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi for helping those who carried out the  April 2 2015 al-Shabab attack on Garissa University.  

According to Chief Magistrate Francis Andagi, evidence linking the three men to the attack was based on phone call analytics and eye witness reports.

A fourth suspect, Sahal Diriy Hussein, was acquitted. He was reportedly arrested in the company of one of the suspects and the prosecution could not provide sufficient evidence linking him to the attack.

The prosecution is seeking a maximum sentence against the trio, with a sentencing date set for July 3.

Sahal Diriye leaves the court room escorted by a security guard after he was acquitted of helping those who carried out the attack on Garissa University in 2015, at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi, Kenya June 19, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

The attack was carried out by al-Shabab gunmen, who  stormed the Garissa University College April 2nd 2015, in a deadly attack that went on for hours, leaving 144 students, four security officers and two employees of the university.  All four men attacked were killed by a specialised police unit.

It was the second deadliest attack in Kenya’s history, after the 1998 al-Qaeda bombing of the US embassy which left over 200 people dead.

The town of Garissa is about 200 kilometers from the border with Somalia and has been the site of sporadic gun and grenade attacks attributed to al-Shabab.

Days before Wednesday’s court hearing,  at least 10 Kenyan police officers were killed after their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device near the Somali border, in a reported al-Shabab attack.

The Islamist group has often targeted Kenya in revenge for Kenya sending troops to Somalia in 2011 to fight the armed group.

 

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