A Nairobi court has ordered the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) to launch a probe into the alleged abduction of Liban Abdillahi Omar, a Westgate terror suspect who was acquitted on October 7.
Omar was set free by presiding magistrate Francis Andayi for lack of evidence in the Westgate terror attack that left at least 67 people dead and more than 150 others injured.
Reports indicate that Omar was abducted two days later by unknown gunmen moments after leaving Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) offices in Upper Hill, Nairobi.
Andayi directed the rights group to probe the matter after claims that police were behind the “abduction”.
The magistrate issued the directive after adjourning the sentencing of two convicts in the Westgate case, Mohamed Abdi and Hassan Hussein, to October 30.
“None of us is safe when we are handling these terror cases,” Andayi said as he raised concerns over several incidents where terror suspects disappear without a trace after their acquittal by courts.
The magistrate directed Omar’s lawyers Leah Mwihaki and Mbugua Mureithi to report to the rights group to carry out an in-depth probe into the matter.
Omar is said to have been in the company of his sister in a taxi when four gun-toting men in a Subaru ordered them to stop.
The gunmen pulled Omar from the taxi and forced him into their vehicle before speeding off. The incident took place near KCB towers.
Omar, a refugee from Somalia, was arrested after police tracked phone calls with his brother, who was killed in the attack. He had been in custody for over seven years.
Omar’s co-accused were found guilty of conspiring to commit a terror attack.
The three faced up to 12 counts related to the commission of a terrorist act, conspiracy to commit a terrorist act, giving support to a terrorist group, Al Shabaab, and being in the country illegally. Some of the charges were dismissed by the court.
“I give the second accused the benefit of doubt in communicating with his brother who was one of the attackers. Not everyone who speaks with the accused is guilty,” Andayi said while acquitting the second accused who had also been charged with being in the country illegally.