One of four men facing trial in connection with Kenya’s Westgate mall massacre in September has fiercely denied the charges in court, describing himself as a deeply religious man.
Adan, along with three other suspects – Mohammed Ahmed Abdi, Liban Abdullah Omar and Hussein Hassan Mustafa – pleaded not guilty to the charges of supporting a terrorist group at a court in Nairobi on Wednesday.
They also face charges of entering Kenya illegally and obtaining false identification documents.
“I am a practising Muslim who believes in the sanctity of human life, and had nothing to do with the murderous attack on the Westgate Mall whatsoever,” Adan Mohamed Abidkadir Adan said during a bail hearing.
The other three suspects are also expected to submit bail applications.
At least 67 people died in the four-day attack on the upmarket shopping centre, which was claimed by Somalia’s al-Shabab armed group who said it was a warning to Kenya to pull its troops out of southern Somalia, where they are fighting the group as part of an African Union force.
All four gunmen in the Westgate attack are understood to have died during the attack.
Interpol and the FBI are helping Kenya in trying to identify four bodies believed to be those of the attackers.
Two of the gunmen – who the four are accused of supporting – are named in court documents as Mohammed Abdinur Said and Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow, a 23-year old Somali who spent time in Norway.
Like the attackers, the four suspects are all ethnic Somalis, but it is unclear whether they are Somali or Kenyan citizens.
Adan, who is due to learn later this month whether his bail application is approved, insisted on Wednesday that he was a Kenyan citizen and that his identification papers are genuine.
The trial is not expected to begin in earnest until mid-January.
Western sources familiar with the investigation suggest the evidence on the suspects is credible enough to warrant a trial.
Kenya’s Red Cross say that at least 20 people are still missing, with other officials suggesting that as many as 94 could have died in the attack, with some victims still potentially under tonnes of rubble after part of the mall’s roof collapsed.