Five suspects charged over Kenya university massacre

Defendants plead not guilty in Nairobi court and claim they were tortured by police for 10 days to force confessions.

Suspects stands inside the dock at the Milimani Law Courts in Kenya''s capital Nairobi
The prosecution alleges that the five suspects colluded to carry out the attack but have not said what their roles were [Reuters]

Kenyan police have charged five men in connection with the attack by the armed group al-Shabab on a university in eastern Kenya in April in which 148 people were killed.

The five men pleaded not guilty to 152 counts of committing acts of terrorism in a Nairobi court on Thursday.

Four al-Shabab gunmen stormed the Garissa University College at dawn on April 2. The attack went on for hours before it was finally ended by a specialised police unit and the four men were killed.

The prosecution alleges that the five suspects colluded to carry out the attack, but have not said what their roles were.

Inside the compound where the Garissa massacre took place

Prosecutor Daniel Karuri urged the court to deny the suspects bail.

Magistrate Daniel Ochenja directed that they be imprisoned until June 11, when the court will determine whether they will be granted bail.

The five suspects complained they were tortured for 10 consecutive days as anti-terrorism police tried to force confessions from them.

Speaking through an interpreter, the four Somalis and a Tanzanian claimed their heads were forced into buckets full of water, and that they were electrocuted and whipped after they denied involvement in the attack.

Al-Shabab has vowed to carry out attacks against Kenya for sending its troops to Somalia to fight the armed group.

Kenya has experienced a wave of explosive and gun attacks since October 2011 when its troops went into Somalia.

Source: AP