A two-year wait for justice to be served to two terror suspects after terror attacks close to the coastal town of Mpeketoni, has ended in sadness for police and about 60 victims’ families.
It was alleged that the June 2014’s attack saw up to 60 people murdered over two nights of terror.
However, High Court in Mombasa has found the two main suspects – Dyna Salim and Mahadi Swaleh – not guilty of all 60 counts of murder.
Dyana Salim faced charges for being suspected to have acted as a chauffeur to the attackers from Mombasa to Lamu using two Nissan matatus — that he claimed were hijacked by al Shabaab to carry out the attack. Swaleh on the other hand, was accused of plotting the eviction of non-locals with al Shabaab.
The two suspects were cleared from all murder charges by a verdict of not guilty as Justice Martin Muya noted that the police could not beyond reasonable doubt prove that the two were in the wrong. The two were set free in accordance with section 323.
Frowning at the entire probe so far, the Justice castigated the police for wasting the country’s resources and manpower on the case without carrying out comprehensive investigations.
Justice Martin Muya then ruled that Mahadi Swaleh, alias Jesus, and Dyana Suleiman were not linked in the plotting and carrying out of the attack.
During his ruling, Justice Muya urged the government to address some security issues, citing communication gap as the main focus to be brought up.
The Justice pinpointed a communication breakdown in the police units during the Mpeketoni attack as the key cause of the years-long investigation which is now futile.
He blamed the security department for declining to respond promptly to the midnight assault to escape possible ambush set by the attackers.
The police however finds the ruling rather wrong, adding to their years-long notion about the country’s judiciary. The security agency accused the judiciary of frustrating the war on terror by either releasing suspects on bail or being too sympathetic on suspects.
Overall, the ruling shows that it is the officers’ responsibilities to gather proper proof if they want to secure convictions.