Kenyan hotel bomb trial adjourned

The trial of six Kenyans charged with murder over the attack on an Israel-owned hotel last year, has been adjourned until next month.

    The suspects will be tried in Nairobi's high court

     High Court Judge John Osiemo said that after hearing presentations from both the prosecution and the defence, he decided to adjourn the case to a week after a ruling on another case involving two other suspects due on 14 November.

    Prosecutor John Gachivi had told the opening session that he was ready to proceed with the trial, but defence lawyer Mao Maobe requested the adjournment, arguing that the trial should be joined to that of the two other suspects.

    A court will be examining defence requests in that case on 14November and the case of the six was adjourned until 21 November.

    Six Kenyans accused of links to last year's car-bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel near the port city of Mombasa were expecxted to be tried for murder on Monday, despite concerns of human rights violations.

    The bombing of the Mombasa Paradise Hotel has left 18 people dead, including 12 Kenyans, three Israelis and three bombers.

    The suspects also faced charges relating to an unsuccessful attempt to shoot down an Israeli passenger jet as it took off from Mombasa airport.

    All the six suspects have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

    Significantly, the police have never said exactly what role the six accused played in last year's bombing.

    "We want to start with about 10 witnesses for one week, but this will depend on the availability of judges," state prosecutor John Gachivi said.

    Upheaval

    Turmoil has engulfed the Kenyan judiciary following the suspension of 23 judges over allegations of corruption.

    Kenya's crackdown on "terror" has been smeared by accusations of human rights excesses.

    The human rights group, People Against Torture, has accused police of torturing people detained on suspicion of having links with terrorism.

    The group claimed that many other people had also been arrested in the past few months, including in a nationwide dragnet in which at least 1500 people were detained before being released without charge.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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