Kenyan court sentences two convicted terrorists over Westgate attack

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Hussein Hassan Mustafah, left, Liban Abdullah Omar, center, and Mohamed Ahmed Abdi, right, who are charged with aiding the gunmen involved in the Westgate Mall attack in Sept. 2013, appear during their ongoing trial at Milimani court in the capital Nairobi, Kenya Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. The verdict in the ongoing trial was expected on Monday but has been postponed by the judge. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)
FILE PHOTO: Hussein Hassan Mustafah, left, Liban Abdullah Omar, center, and Mohamed Ahmed Abdi, right, who are charged with aiding the gunmen involved in the Westgate Mall attack in Sept. 2013, appear during their trial at Milimani court in the capital Nairobi, Kenya. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)

A court in Kenya on Friday sentenced two convicted terrorists to multiple years in jail for their roles in a terrorist attack in the capital Nairobi in September 2013.

Both Hussein Hassan Mustafah and Mohamed Ahmed Abdi were sentenced to 18 years over conspiracy to commit terrorism but Abdi was slapped with an additional 15 years for possession of materials promoting terrorism.

Their sentences, however, were reduced to 11 and 26 years respectively as they had already served seven years in remand.

“This court has to pass a sentence … commensurate with the offence,” Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi said.

A third suspect, Liban Abdullahi Omar, had been acquitted earlier this month while the two were found guilty. Omar was reportedly kidnapped by a group of gunmen a day later after being released from custody and his location is still unknown.

The trio had been arrested in the weeks after the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, which killed 67 people and left dozens of others injured. A number of charges were brought against them including conspiracy to commit a terrorist act, aiding a terrorist group and being in the country illegally.

The attack was the first large-scale assault in the capital and claimed by Somalia-based terror group Al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab had vowed to retaliate against Kenya for sending troops in 2011 to fight the group in Somalia.

The gunmen behind the attack are suspected to have died when the Kenyan military took control of the mall.

Though the incident happened seven years ago, prosecutors had spent more than five years collecting evidence against the suspects, partly due to more than 145 witnesses offering to give testimony.

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