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Pre-trial conference for Somali terror suspects kicks off

Kampala, Uganda,| The Pre-trial Conference of eight Somali Nationals accused of terrorism kicked off in Kampala with parties marking exhibits in the trial.

The suspects include Mohamed Abdul Kadil alias Hirsi alias Mohamed Abdul Aziz Adam, Abdi Abdullahi Bootan, Hassan Abdul Wa’i Muhamoud, Mohamed Ahmed Gele, Yasmin Abdullahi Aden, Hodan Ahmed Dahir, Yusuf Osman Hussein and Abdi Mohamed. They are jointly accused of aiding and abetting terrorism and Conspiracy to commit a felony.

They were arrested in 2015, from the areas of Kisenyi, Mengo and Bukesa, all suburbs of Kampala with suicide vests that were to be used in a series of terrorist attacks in Uganda. Police Intelligence indicated that the group had been in constant contact with Adam Garar alias Muhammad, a member of the Alshabaab.

The prosecution alleges that that between September 2010 and 2014, the accused persons in various countries including Uganda, Kenya and Somalia, rendered support to the Alshabaab militia knowing that the support would be used in the commission of Acts of Terrorism.

However, the process of their trial, which started in April 2015, had stalled due to the absence of a Somali interpreter, the lack of legal representation and failure by the suspects to disclose evidence.

The prosecution presented jackets which were reportedly carrying explosives, pictures taken by police officers during arrest and police statements that were recorded by the accused persons, as part of the exhibits to be used in the trial.

Senior State Attorney Lillian Omara said that the remaining exhibits include a vehicle with a Somalia number plate, a Toshiba laptop with its charger, phones, and money confiscated from the suspects during their arrest. Omara, however, did not reveal the exact number of phones and the amount of money kept as exhibits saying she needed time to consult.

Defence lawyer McDusman Kabega told the court that he is pleased that the pre-trial Conference has finally started.

Pre-trial Judge Michael Elubu of the International Crimes Division adjourned the matter to June 13, 2018, for further conferencing.

Source: The Independent (Uganda)

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