World
Kenyan governor accused of links to tourist coast massacres
Publish Date: Jul 16, 2014
Kenyan governor accused of links to tourist coast massacres
Lamu Governor Issa Timamy appears in court following his arrest to face charges on June 26. AFP Photo
  • mail
  • img
newvision

THE governor of Kenya's coastal region of Lamu appeared in court on Wednesday on allegations of links to a spate of massacres, with the prosecution requesting more time to complete investigations.

Governor Issa Timamy of Lamu county was arrested in connection with last month's killings in the town of Mpeketoni and nearby villages, which were claimed by Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militia but blamed by the government on local political networks.

The governor, who has fiercely denied any connection to the massacre of close to 50 people, is currently on bail of five million Kenyan shillings ($57,000, 42,000 euros) -- after the state failed in a bid to hold him for 14 days without charge.

In Wednesday's hearing in the port city of Mombasa, senior prosecution counsel Alexander Muteti told Justice Martin Muya that the authorities needed two months to complete the probe.

"The displacement of potential witnesses has made it rather difficult for the investigations. In two months' time, we shall be through and return to court," he said.

Defence counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi, however, said the prosecution had no evidence and demanded the case be dropped.

"Two months is a tool to intimidate Governor Timamy," he told the court.

The judge is scheduled to rule on Thursday on whether to grant the state's application to continue with the investigations.

The accusations have stoked already tense political rivalry between the ruling and opposition parties, with Timamy a member of the opposition United Democratic Forum (UDF) party.

Police have also arrested alleged separatists from the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC), a group that campaigns for independence for the coastal region.

Survivors of the attack in Mpeketoni reported gunmen speaking Somali and carrying Shebab flags, executing non-Muslims and saying their actions were revenge for Kenya's military presence in Somalia as part of the African Union force intervention against the Islamists.

The attackers appeared to target Mpeketoni because the town is a mainly Christian settlement in the Muslim-majority coastal region, having been settled decades ago by the Kikuyu people, the same tribe as Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Mexico governor steps down over student disappearances
The governor of the Mexican state where 43 students vanished a month ago following a confrontation with police allegedly linked to a major drug cartel has bowed to pressure to stand down....
A doctor who recently returned to New York from treating Ebola patients in Guinea tested positive on Thursday for the deadly virus, the first confirmed case in the city, officials said....
Missing Mexico journalist found shot dead
THE editor of an investigative magazine in violence-wracked northwestern Mexico who disappeared two weeks ago was found dead with gunshot wounds...
Bashir calls opponents for talks
SUDAN'S President Omar al-Bashir has urged opponents to join him in 'national dialogue' talks, days after it was announced he would be seeking re-election...
Mexico says mayor, wife were behind student-teacher disappearances
A Mexican mayor and his wife were "probable masterminds" behind the disappearance of 43 student-teachers last month in the restive southwest, the country's attorney general said on Wednesday....
Canada PM vows crackdown after capital shocked by fatal attacks
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed to redouble the country's fight against "terrorist organizations" abroad after a reported convert to Islam rampaged through parliament, shocking the usually tranquil capital city....
Should diplomatic passports issued to ex-govt workers be with drawn?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter