Two attackers convicted in the Garissa University terrorist attack will now serve 25 and half years in prison from 41 years after the High Court partially overturned their conviction.
Justice Cecilia Githau acquitted Hassan Edin Hassan and Mohammed Abdi Abikar of the offenses of being members of Al-Shabaab group but upheld the conviction of conspiracy to commission and commit a terrorist act.
The lower court had sentenced the two to 15 and half years imprisonment for being members of Alshabaab and 10 and half years for conspiracy to commit a terrorist act.
On the commission of a terrorist act, the magistrate court sentenced them to 25 years in prison.
While overturning the conviction of being members of Al-Shabaab, the judge noted that the prosecution did not adduce any evidence to show how the two terror convicts were members of the the militia group.
“There was no confession evidence of them confessing to being members of the outlawed group or that they were found with weapons or articles to show they were members of the illegal group,” noted the judge.
Judge says prosecution failed to prove claims
The judge also noted that the prosecution did not make any effort to establish any annexures between the two terror convicts and the outlawed group.
“The trial magistrate erred in his findings. The said counts were not proved beyond reasonable doubt They were wrongly convicted in the said counts, and therefore their conviction in the said counts is quashed and the sentences set aside,” ruled the judge.
The judge, however, upheld the conviction of the other offenses saying she was satisfied that the circumstantial evidence by the prosecution left no doubt that the two were aware of the said plan and the actual perpetrators of the attack.
“Terrorism is a grave and heinous transnational crime which not only has devastating effects on its victims but also poses a serious threat to both national and global peace and security,” she said.
The judge noted that their actions and those of their accomplices were premeditated acts that no doubt caused suffering to the families of the deceased victims and will continue to traumatise the victims who were lucky to survive for the rest of their lives.