Father and son handed life sentence for hosting US embassy bombing and Paradise hotel mastermind Fazul Mohammed

A father and his son have been sentenced for life for hosting US embassy bombing and Paradise hotel mastermind Fazul Mohammed.

Mahfudh Ashur and Ibrahim Mahfudh were found guilty of four counts, including aiding and harbouring a terrorist.

They were also convicted of stealing a passport belonging to Mohammed Abubakar and substituted the photo with Fazul’s purporting to be Abubakar.

Fazul is said to have been the brains behind the August 7, 1998 bombing which killed 219 people.

He is also reported to have been behind the 2002 Paradise hotel in Kikambala attack which killed 17 people.

In a judgement by chief magistrate Maxwell Gicheru, the court said the case against the duo was proven beyond doubt.

The judgement brings to a closure the case, which started in 2008.

Gicheru said it was evident Fazul stayed in Ashur’s house and the items recovered from his house belonged to the terrorists.

The magistrate said DNA tests conducted on a shaver recovered from the accused person house marched Fazul’s.

“The DNA samples marched samples from Fazul’s children, Luqman and Sumaiya. It proved the samples on the shaver matched the biological father of the two children. This then confirms Fazul lived in that house,” Gicheru said.

The magistrate further noted the shaver’s samples also marched remains of a man killed in Somali who was believed to be the wanted terrorist.

Gicheru also pointed out that the accused person hosted Fazul with full knowledge that he was the mastermind behind two attacks in Kenyan soil.

“I do not want to believe that you did not know about Fazul and his terror activities, yet you had cuttings of his terror activities. You closely followed terror activities in the world,” he said.

The magistrate also downplayed the defence argument that the accused were framed and that items recovered in the house were planted by the Anti-terror Police Unit during the raid.

He said the police acted on intelligence and there was no malice.

Gicheru said the officers, who were drawn from Mombasa and Malindi, were not aware of the accused persons before the arrest.

He said according to the sequence of events during the raid and arrest, there was no time to plant the evidence.

“The police were not aware of the DNA samples until after the arrest and therefore there was no motives to plant the shaver which later proved Fazul’s presence in that house.

The defense had also raised objection on manner the DNA was acquired and wanted the analysis report be rejected by the court, terming it illegal.

However, the court said the DNA was legible as it had been allowed by Ethiopia and Somali governments.