A court has issued a warrant of arrest against two anti-terror police officers for failing to appear to testify in a case where four women are accused of being members of Al-Shabaab militia.
Mombasa Chief Magistrate Evans Makori while issuing the warrants warned that investigating officers have crippled the prosecution’s efforts to try cases in court.
“Investigating officers in Mombasa are failing Kenyans, these characters need to be punished,” he said.
Mr Makori noted that there are many instances where cases have been dismissed due to failure by investigators to produce exhibits or even appear to give testimony.
He termed failure by investigators to produce exhibits as a behaviour meant frustrating lawyers, suspects and the courts.
“I direct officer in charge of Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) in Coast Charles Ogeto to arrest and present Corporal Samuel Ouma and Fogat Abdi before this court to give their testimony,” the magistrate said.
Mr Makori further directed Officer Commanding Police Divisions in the respective areas to spearhead the arrest of the two officers.
“These people need to be punished so that they can know the pain the suspects in custody are going through,” he said, adding that police in Mombasa were frustrating court’s attempt to expedite trial and determination of cases, especially terror-related cases
The magistrate issued the warrants after prosecution counsel Eugene Wangila said he could not locate the officers.
“Ms Abdi has switched off her phone. I have been unable to reach her on phone. I, therefore, apply for a warrant of arrest to force her to come to court as required by law,” he said
He told the court that Mr Ouma had ditched National Police Service for Kenya Revenue Authority in Nairobi while Ms Abdi has been moved to Moi International Airport.
The officers failed to appear and testify in a case where four women Ms Ummulkheir Sadri Abdalla, Ms Khadija Abubakar Abdulkadir, Ms Maryam Said Aboud and Ms Halima Adan are accused of being members of Al-Shabaab.
The suspects are accused that on March 26, 2015, they organised a meeting in Nairobi County to plan on how to cross into Somalia to support Al-Shabaab.
Another charge states that they conspired with another woman, Ms Ummulkheir Sadri, and others abroad to carry out terrorist acts in Kenya.
The women were arrested at El Wak border point in Mandera County on March 27 while allegedly trying to sneak into Somalia.
The suspects also face other terror-related charges, including being members of Al-Shabaab and conspiracy to commit terrorism in Kenya.
During the hearing of the matter on Friday, Nairobi’s ATPU cybercrime officer Joseph Kolum said some of the items recovered from the accused mobile phones indicated they had pledged allegiance to the terror group.
“Some items including videos and photos found in the suspects’ phones had some symbols that are used by terrorists to communicate so that they cannot be noticed by a second party,” he said.
Mr Kolum produced forensic report indicating that some of the materials contained in the suspect’s devices are used for radicalization.
The case will be heard on April 22.