Terror suspect declines freedom after being found innocent by court

The Muslim cleric said he feared he would be executed upon release

Sheikh Guyo Garso photo; Douglas Okiddy

A Muslim cleric arrested in 2018 over terror charges has declined to leave the Kamiti Maximum Prison even after the courts ordered his release.

Sheikh Guyo Garso an ex-madrasa teacher in Marsabit said he feared state security would execute him and refused to be handed to his family upon the ruling he had been set free.

Sheikh Guyo appealed to magistrate Wendy Kagendo to direct the Kamiti Maximum Prison authorities to take care of his safety as he waits to hear the court's decision on a suit he filed compelling the government to protect him.

“Your honour, I pray you direct Sheikh Garso's remain in Kamiti, even after you have declared him a free man. He fears for his life,” his lawyer John Khaminwa told the court.

The court ordered that the cleric be held at the Kamiti maximum prison after he was found innocent of terror related charges after the prosecution failed to present water tight evidence on Garso.

The mobile phone, flash disk, and micro SD card seized during his arrest were not linked to the Sheikh leading to his acquittance.

“Having arrived at the conclusion that a prima facie case has not been established against the accused, I proceed to acquit him,” Kagendo ruled.

Garso was arrested in January 2018 in Marsabit despite efforts by youths to invade the police station where he was being held.

He was later flown to Nairobi where he was presented in court for prosecution where he was accused of conspiracy to commit terrorism, radicalisation, recruiting members to a terrorist group and being part of terrorist group.

Garso was denied bail because of his popularity and the security threat he posed if he was released. He will be presented in court on June 19 to explain the High Court progress.

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