BEIRUT

Middle East

Kenya court suspends bail for Iranian bomb plot suspects

Sayed Mansour Mousavi, (3-L) and Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammad, both Iranian nationals appear in high court in the Kenyan capital, in Nairobi on July 23, 2012 at the beginning of their trial after they were allegeldly found in possesion of explosive material. (AFP PHOTO/Tony KARUMBA)

NAIROBI: Kenya's High Court on Tuesday suspended bail for two Iranians on trial for possessing explosives allegedly for use in bomb attacks in Kenya, after prosecutors cited issues of "national security."

Ahmed Mohammed and Sayed Mansour, who were arrested in June and charged with suspected links to a terror network planning bombings in Mombasa and Nairobi, are accused of possessing 15 kilos (33 pounds) of the powerful explosive RDX.

Both men, who have denied the charges, were granted bail by a lower court earlier this month, but prosecutors later appealed against the decision.

"The order of the trial court granting bail... is hereby stayed until the application for revision is heard," Justice Lydia Achode ruled.

"The magistrate made an error because the offences the two face concern grave issues on national security," said prosecution lawyer Edwin Okello said.

Defence lawyer David Kirimi said he believed the prosecution had "led the judge to believe that they have enough evidence to make the two look like flight risks."

The pair had earlier on Tuesday appeared in court on the second day of their trial, with the case adjourned until August 3, when a new date is expected to be made for the resumption of the trial.

However, the pair, who are now in custody, are expected to appear at the High Court on Wednesday concerning the bail ruling.

Defence lawyers allege the suspects were interrogated by Israeli security officers while in Kenyan detention, claims dismissed by the prosecution.

The accusation follows a declaration by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who in early July, shortly after the two were charged, said Iran was plotting attacks against Israel in Kenya.

 

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