A court in which an Israeli and a Moroccan are on trial for planning a terror attack in Kenya has rejected overtures by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to meddle in the case.
Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi who is to deliver a ruling on whether Jabereen Ahmed and Mohammed Salim alias Daud have a case to answer later in the month of July 2017 said that he cannot compel prison authorities to allow the commission to access the facility where the suspects are held to interview them after they claimed they were asylum seekers deserving refugee intervention.
Police arrested the Israel and the Moroccan and accuse them of being found in possession of articles related to terrorism, and collecting information for use in planning and executing a terror attack.
They are already serving a penalty for being found in the country illegally after being convicted on their own plea of guilty.
UNHCR wants to intervene in the case after a lawyer representing the suspects claimed they had nothing to with terrorism but were victims of circumstances, read human trafficking.
Lawyer Hassan Nandwa says the suspects applied to the UN as refugees and asylum seekers.
‘They were smuggled to Kenya and were heading to Australia for work through an agent identified only as Osman who received them while on transit before they fell into the hands of the police,” the lawyer told Justicenow.co.ke shortly after the court session.Refugee status
UNHCR wants to access them to analyze whether they qualify for refugee status.
The commission’s lawyer told the trial court that a court order is required to access prison facilities.
Police are said to have arrested the suspects in the company of their link-man, Osman, who was but released under unclear circumstances.
The foreigners have also claimed the police snatched 7000USD from them when they were in 2014 arrested in along Kamiti Road in Nairobi while on the suspected surveillance mission.
Magistrate Andayi overruled the request and told UNHCR that the application to access prisons “does not fall within the jurisdiction of the trial court.”
He further directed that the application being unrelated to the case at hand, ” be filed independently” for determination.