Funds stall hearing of Mandera killings

The hearing of a case in which a Kenyan and three Somalis have been charged with killing 35 people at a quarry in Mandera county has hit a snag due to lack of funds.

The prosecution yesterday told the court witnesses were not present because the state could not pay for their transport from Mandera to Nairobi and their accommodation in Nairobi.

Prosecutor Cynthia Opiyo sought an adjournment.

The prosecution has lined up 11 witnesses but has called only two.

Suspects’ lawyer Leah Gikonyo opposed the adjournment, terming it “scandalous”.

However, trial magistrate Terresa Nyangena postponed the hearing to December 1.

The 36 quarry workers were shot dead and others beheaded in Koromey, Mandera county, on December 2 last year.

Suspected al Shabaab militants raided their camp near the Somalia border.

Abubakar Kitonga, the alleged mastermind of the attack, is facing charges alongside Maslah Hassan, Musa Hassan and Shukri Salat.

Maslah, Musa and Salat face a separate charge of being in Kenya illegally.

Kitonga also faces a charge of having materials that he used in instigating a terrorism act.

According to police reports, the 36 slain men were ordered to lie down and shot at close range by about 20 attackers.


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