The botched plot to secure the release of two Iranians detained by the Supreme Court at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison was hatched in May 2018 a Nairobi court has been told.
This emerged after the Director of public prosecution Noordin Haji through his assistant Duncan Ondimumade an application seeking to have Wesley Kiptanui Kipkemoi , Ghanian Shemgrant Agyei and lawyer Robin Bundi Nyangaresi detained for a month for their actively involvement in a elaborate planning and execution of the escape of the two Iranians Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammed and Sayed Mansour Mousavi.
Last year Supreme Court suspended decision by court of appeal that acquitted and ordered repatriated of two jailed Iranian over terror links.
“We order that pending the filing, hearing and final determination of the applicant’s intended appeal, the respondents’ acquittal by the Appellate Court is hereby stayed and the respondents shall be held in police custody”. Ruled the court.
Ondimu says that trio were arrested over the weekend in connection the planned escape of two Iranians detained by supreme court pending state appeal.
The two convicts are in prison after they were jailed over explosives recovered in Mombasa seven years ago.
“The DPP lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court. The petition lodged by the DPP was heard on December 11, 2018 before the Supreme Court. The appeal relates to two Iranian nationals Ahmad Abolofathi and Sayed Mansour who are currently in custody pending decision of the Supreme Court, ” said ondimu.
While seeking for 30 days Ondimu said preliminary Investigations conducted and information so far received show that the three suspects met on diverse dates with a senior Diplomat immunity at the Iranian Embassy and the main purpose of discussion was on how to aid the escape of the two Iranian.
The court heard that DPP has on several occasions received intelligence in relation to planned escape of the two Iranian nationals.
Ondimu said the suspects together with a senior diplomat who name was withheld pending a confirmation form the Ministry of foreign affairs held several meetings in diverse places including shopping malls in westlands and hotels in Hurligarm and CBD and there is need to obtain CCTV footage of the areas.
“Some of the areas included premises covered under Diplomatic Immunity and there is need to seek assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Said the prosecution.
“The three met on diverse dates with a senior diplomat at the Iranian embassy and the main purpose of the discussion was on how to aid the escape of the two individuals.”.
Ondimu further informed the police more time to obtain call data records for the mobile numbers which were involved in the planning.
The court further heard that on February 10, in a bid to facilitate the planned escape of the two Iranians, a senior diplomat at the Iranian embassy booked a flight with Qatar Airways and there is need to obtain CCTV footage of the airline offices.
Prosecution claimas that the perusal of the air-ticket showed that the two nationals and the said senior diplomat at the Iranian embassy were scheduled to leave on the same flight on February 11, 2019.
During on-going investigations, several electronic gadgets have been recovered and have been submitted for forensically examination and the reports are yet to be obtained and analysed.
Prosecution further informed the court that the investigations are complex and require additional time and it involves a number of agencies and the Ministry of foreign affairs (due to the fact that the matter involves a senior diplomat at the Iranian embassy).
Ondimu said the DPP believes that the three have other associates who are yet to be apprehended and their arrest is being vigorously pursued by the security agencies.
Kiptanui was introduced to senior diplomat at the Iranian embassy around may or june last year by a friend of his by the name A. Okello.
Kiptanui later met the diplomat from Iranian embassy at a local hotel and their later met at the Iranian embassy where he was introduced to an individual to an individual by the name H. Noor.
He later met the said Noor who informed him that the said diplomat at the embassy had a proposal which could only be discussed during a face to face meeting and they later met within the CBD.
During the meeting at CBD, Noor informed kiptanui that there are two Iranian suspects in custody who were convicted and was looking for someone who could help with the removal of the two Iranian national from custody and repatriate them from the country as quickly as possible.
Kiptanui did meet with the senior diplomat at the embassy at his residence where he was asked if he had discussed the proposal with Noor. The diplomat informed him that he was looking for someone with connections and enough pull to help with the removal of the two Iranians as he had orders from his home country to ensure the two are out but to ensure that the involvement of the Iranian government is not seen.
During the meeting with the diplomat, kiptanui was informed by him that they were willing to spend shs 150 million.
“During the subsequent meeting with the Senior Diplomat, Kiptanui was informed by him that they were willing to spend US $ 150,000. Kiptanui later sought the assistance of lawyer Robin Bundi Nyangaresi who later (January 2019) informed him that he had someone who was well connected and was willing to help carry out the senior Diplomats plans,” said Ondimu.
in the first week of February 2019, the three met at hotel within hurligham area and the Ghanaian stated that they should ensure that the two air-tickets are booked and their passports ready.
A flight was later booked by the diplomat for the three and the two Iranians were to travel on February 11, 2019 together with the diplomat.
The investigations requires phones details of all the persons that the respondents have been communicating with in Kenya, their digital prints trail pending investigations.
The court heard that on brief interviews carried out so far and information so far received, show that they have other associates and there’s need to carry out detailed interviews with respondents and the associates to the attackers with a view of finding out their co-conspirators.
However the defence led by cliff Ombeta vehemently opposed the application to continue detaining the three saying that the prosecution have not tabled compelling reasons.
“The further detention of the suspects is a deliberate move calculated to torment them as they are not a flight risk and their fixed bode is well know to the police,” said Ombeta.
The court heard that the the third suspect who is an advocate of the high court was represent the first and second respondents before he was arrested.
The lawyer said that Bundi’s detention is a deliberate calculation to extract privilege information between an advocate and his clients.
“Allowing the application is to help the police to breach area of an advocate and his client. It will have a direct impact on his career as he may be exposed to suits related to professional negligence,” said the defence.
The magistrate ordered the three to be detained at Anti-Terrorrim police until this afternoon( Tuesday) 2:30pm.
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