Garissa University terror attack: 1 gets life imprisonment, two jailed for 41 years


Garissa University terror attack: 1 gets life imprisonment, two jailed for 41 years
Garissa University terror attack suspects in court on June 19, 2019. PHOTO | DZUYA WALTER

In Summary

  • The first and second accused - Mohammed Abdi Abdikar, Hassan Edin Hassan – were jailed for 41 years as they were considered first offenders since they did not have any prior cases in court.
  • The fifth accused person, Rashid Charles Mberesero was however sentenced to life imprisonment since he was found at the scene of the crime.

A Nairobi court on Wednesday sentenced two people found guilty of the Garissa University terror attack to 41 years in jail and a third to life imprisonment.

The first and second accused – Mohammed Abdi Abdikar, Hassan Edin Hassan – were jailed for 41 years as they were considered first offenders since they did not have any prior cases in court.

The fifth accused person, Rashid Charles Mberesero was however sentenced to life imprisonment since he was found at the scene of the crime.

“The (fifth) accused person had indicated he was going to join Al-Shabaab in Somalia and he was found at scene of the crime. I sentence him to life imprisonment for committing a terrorism act,” ruled Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi.

“I have noted that the two accused persons (first and second) are remorseful, they were not found at the scene of crime and were arrested at different places in Garissa and Mandera. Evidence against them does not make them as principal offenders but secondary offenders.”

Abdikadir and Hassan were charged with conspiracy to commit the terrorism act, committing a terrorist act and being members of Al-Shabaab.

The court sentenced them to 15 years for conspiracy to commit a terrorist act but reduced it to 10 and a half years due to the four and a half years they have been in custody.

On committing a terrorist act, they were sentenced to 30 years each which was reduced to 25 years and a half while, for being members of Al-Shabaab, they were sentenced to 20 years which was reduced to 15 years and a half.

Prosecuting counsel Duncan Ondimu however wanted the three jailed for 60 years, urging the court to consider the weapons and injury inflicted on the victims.

“The students who died, the injury was clearly stated in the postmortem report and as court pointed out, they died a gruesome death. This clearly show that the attackers and the convicts’ actions were clearly premeditated,” he stated.

“The court should consider multiple victims, from the charge sheet, 148 human beings died, this is by no means few.”

Lawyer Mbugua Mureithi, representing Abdikadir and Hassan, asked the court for leniency saying the two were remorseful over the conviction.

He further argued that the two were first degree offenders and that they never pulled the actual triggers of the guns recovered at the university.

Mr. Mureithi also argued that the 60 years asked for by the prosecution was too harsh and was like a death sentence since life expectancy is 60 years.

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