Widow of Controversial Cleric Charged for Withholding Information About Attack on Kenyan Police

NAIROBI, Kenya — The widow of slain controversial Kenyan Muslim cleric, Sheikh Aboud Rogo, has been charged with withholding information that would have helped to stop the attempted attack on the Mombasa Central police station two weeks ago.

The widow, Haniya Said Saggar, was arraigned before a Mombasa Court on Friday, and she denied the charges of failing to disclose information about Tasnim Yakub, who is one of the three slain female suspected terrorists behind the foiled Mombasa Central police station attack on September 11.

Saggar appeared before Mombasa Principal Magistrate Diana Mochache, and was remanded until Monday when her bail application will be determined.

According to the prosecution, Saggar had information prior to the said attack, but failed to disclose to relevant authorities.

“On September 5, at around midday, at Kanamai area, knowingly and having reasonable grounds to believe that you knew Tasmin Yakoub, who was the mastermind of the terror attack at Central Police Station on September 11, you failed to disclose information which could have prevented a terror attack,” the charge sheet read in part.

The court will, on Monday, allow submissions for bond by both the prosecution and the defense. Mochache ordered state counsel Alexander Muteti to serve the defense side with information about the case.

Saggar’s lawyer, Mbugua Mureithi, protested failure by the prosecution to serve them with sworn affidavits before charging their client.

Further accusations against former classmates of attackers

In a related case, three classmates who were arrested by the Kenyan police, acquitted and later re-arrested, are set be charged afresh in a Mombasa court in relation to the Mombasa Central police station attack.

Luul Ali, Nasteho Ali and Zamzam Abdullah are suspected to be accomplices of the three women who attacked the police station on September 11. They were released after prosecutors failed to give the court compelling reasons for continuing to detain them. The youthful women were said to have been in contact with the three women who were shot dead as they attempted to raid the station. Police had told the court that the suspects had formed a WhatsApp group of former classmates where they interacted, discussing various topics.

They argued that the three have crucial information that can help in establishing the motive behind the failed attack on the police station.

A Mombasa Court will rule on Monday on whether police will detain the three for seven more days.

(Reporting by Richard Mbaya; Editing by Wenzel Frick & Ashely Moody)