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Kenya court charges 4 in shopping mall terrorist attack

A Kenyan court on Monday charged four people with aiding terrorism relating to a four-day siege at a Nairobi shopping mall last month. The Somali Islamist group al-Shabab [BBC backgrounder] has claimed responsibility [BBC report] for the attack, in which at least 62 people died and 175 were injured [Kenya Red Cross fact sheet, PDF]. The four charged men, Mohammed Ahmed Abdi, Liban Abdullah, Adnan Ibrahim and Hussein Hassan, pleaded not guilty [BBC report] to the charges, which also included being in Kenya illegally and obtaining false identification documents. The court ordered the four men to be held at a police station for further investigation.

The Westgate shopping mall attack affected the ongoing International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website; JURIST backgrounder] trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto [ICC materials; JURIST news archive], who requested and was granted [JURIST reports] a one-week postponement from the ICC so he could return to Kenya to deal with the attack. In September UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] condemned [JURIST report] the attack and urged the perpetrators to be brought to justice quickly. Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] also decried the attack, urging the Kenyan authorities to engage in a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation. Earlier in September Kenya's National Assembly voted to withdraw from the ICC [JURIST report], a move which has prompted criticism [JURIST op-ed].

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