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British detectives to testify at Kenyan bomb plot trial

Thursday, August 16, 2012

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London police are expected to give evidence at the Kenyan trial of a British Muslim accused of plotting an attack in Kenya, the prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Jermaine Grant was arrested last year in the Indian Ocean port city of Mombasa on suspicion of stashing bomb-making materials.

"We will have detectives from Scotland Yard come down to testify. We have been exchanging notes with them on matters of this case and so far they have had no problems assisting our prosecution," prosecutor Jacob Ondari told Reuters after the trial resumed on Wednesday.

Ondari said as many as six Metropolitan Police officers might testify in the case which has shone a spotlight on the growing involvement of foreign fighters, including Britons and Americans, in the ranks of Somali Islamist rebels.

Kenyan police suspect Grant, an east Londoner, has ties to the al Shabaab rebel group blamed by the authorities for a string of attacks in the coastal city, the capital, Nairobi, and in the remote hinterlands bordering Somalia.

Grant was nabbed in a rundown neighbourhood of Mombasa. Police later seized explosive ingredients including batteries, wire, ammonium nitrate, lead nitrate, acetone and hydrogen peroxide from his flat.

Security sources say he had plans for hotels and restaurants frequented by Somali government officials, Western expatriates and Ethiopians.

On Wednesday, in a small stuffy court room, Grant, 29, looked relaxed, smiling throughout and whispering to another co-accused Kenyan, Fouad Abubakar.

James Maiyo, a police officer who helped arrest Grant following a tip-off, told the court Grant was found carrying three mobile phones, a bunch of keys and cash worth 2,700 shillings.

Maiyo said Grant, who denies the charges, gave a false identity and said he was from Canada, while Abubakar was found in possession of two identity cards with different serial numbers.



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