UPDATE: The highly anticipated judgement on the 3 suspects linked to the Westgate terror attack of 2013 was adjourned.
In his statement, Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi revealed that this was due to time constraints.
He went on reveal that the final decision would be delivered on Wednesday, October 7.
Heavy police deployment was spotted at the Milimani Law Courts on Tuesday, October 6 ahead of delivery of judgement in a case involving three suspects implicated in the September 21, 2013 Westgate Mall terror attack.
The officers were armed and dressed in full combat gear complete with face masks and formed a protective perimeter around the building.
Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi is set to sentence the three; Hussein Hassan Mustafah, Liban Abdullah Omar and Mohammed Ahmed Abdi, this afternoon.
The three were found to have a case to answer with a fourth accused Adan Dheq being set free in January 2019 after the prosecution failed to prove a case against him.
At least 67 people were killed and more than 100 others injured in the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi.
Seven years later, the judgement necessitated after the attack is yet to be announced.
However, a suspected terrorist attack on the very day, in Mandera South, seems to have necessitated the need to beef up security.
There has been no confirmation whether the presence of the highly skilled officers is connected to the Mandera bus attack that took place a few hours earlier.
The ATPU is a unit within the Directorate of Criminal investigation mandated to mitigate and investigate terrorism related cases in the country.
It was formed in the year 2003 as a unit based at the Police headquarters to investigate all Terrorism matters.
This was after several terror attacks were experienced in the country for example U.S Embassy (1998) and the Kikambala (2002) terror attacks. The escalation of such events shifted the line of thought that terrorism is a European problem and or phenomenon.
One of the key roles is to prevent, disrupt and interdict terrorist activities within the country, which could explain their presence at the courtroom compound.
The Westgate attack left an indelible scar in many survivors’ lives, including that of former K24 presenter Shiksha Arora.
Speaking exclusively to 254news.co.ke, Shiksha divulged into the moments that preceded before and moments during the attack.
The attack exposed the soft underbelly of Kenya’s security and ignited claims of a looting spree by the Kenya Defence Forces and the ridiculous explanations given by the then Interior CS Joseph ole Lenku.
Kenyans were unsatisfied with the information shared by the government even after the sharp-witted Cyrus Oguna (then KDF spokesman) took over, forcing President Uhuru Kenyatta to order the formation of a commission of inquiry.
Four of the suspects who carried out the Westgate attack that day were killed in the four-day standoff.
The three in court face 12 counts related to commission of a terrorist act, conspiracy to commit a terrorist act, giving support to a terrorist group and being in the country illegally.
Anti Terror Unit spotted earlier on outside Milimani Law Courts ahead of ruling on the fate of Westgate Mall attack suspects pic.twitter.com/3mlFRIRg1u
— 254 News (@254NewsKe) October 6, 2020