AGENCIES | Citizen News | Nairobi, Kenya – Two men were on Friday, October 30, sentenced to 18 years in prison for helping al Shabaab gunmen in a 2013 attack on the Westgate mall that killed 67 people.
Mohamed Ahmed Abdi and Hussein Hassan Mustafa were sentenced for 18 years apiece on each of two charges, to be served concurrently.
Abdi was given an additional 15-year jail sentence for possession of materials promoting terrorism.
“This court has to pass a sentence … commensurate with the offence,” Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi told the two as they stood in the Nairobi courtroom.
He said the seven years the men spent on remand would be deducted from their sentences.
The attack on Westgate mall happened two years after Kenya sent troops into Somalia following a series of kidnappings and raids in the country.
A third defendant, Liban Abdullah Omar, was acquitted in the trial, which concluded on October 7.
He was abducted by a group of gunmen a day later after being released from custody and his whereabouts is still unknown.
The three defendants — all ethnic Somalis, two of whom are Kenyan citizens — were accused of assisting the attackers.
Authorities’ disorganised response to the Westgate attack deeply damaged the country’s reputation.
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Soldiers and police fired at each other during a chaotic four days and footage emerged of soldiers looting the complex as bodies lay sprawled on the bloodstained floors.