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Saudi embassy protests citizen’s arrest over terror suspicion

Ali Hanash

 

Mr Ali Hanash Al Amri who was arrested by police at Kiunga along the Kenya-Somali border on suspicion of terror links with the Al-Shabaab. Now the Saudi ambassador to Kenya says his country is “contemplating” legal action against the Kenya police for “illegally detaining” their national. The ambassador says Al Amri came to Kenya as a tourist. PHOTO/KEVIN ODIT.  NATION

 

The Saudi ambassador to Kenya Malhan Ghorm says his country is “contemplating” legal action against the Kenya police for “illegally detaining” their national.

The ambassador further claims that this action by police was tantamount to “maligning the name of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” by associating their national with terrorism.

The Saudi man, Ali Hanash Al Amri was released Monday morning after being held in Lamu.

Police claimed he was heading to Somalia to support the Al-Shabaab.

However, the Saudi ambassador says Al Amri was a tourist who was arrested in a hotel.

The Saudi Arabian university student who has been in police custody in Mombasa for several days over terror links was Monday released to his country’s ambassador in Nairobi for deportation.

Principal Magistrate Abraham Gachie allowed an application by police to have Mr Al Amri released to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Nairobi.

TOURISM PURPOSE

In a letter addressed to the Mombasa County criminal investigations officer, Mr Henry Ondiek, the ambassador stated that: “Mr Al Amri came to Kenya for the sole purpose of tourism and he has no ill will motive towards Kenya”

The letter which was tabled in court added: “The embassy undertakes upon itself to send him back to Saudi Arabia within the shortest possible time. I therefore request you to release him immediately so as to enable the embassy to send him to Saudi Arabia,”

Last week, a legal representative from the embassy visited the 25 year old Al Amri at Port Police Station.

The official also held meetings with top security officers before flying back to Nairobi and returned Monday to receive the man and take him to Nairobi.

He was arrested at Kiunga border village last Wednesday while in the company of a Kenya government official working for a research institution who told police that the Saudi man requested to travel with him to undertake marine research there.

Mr Al Amri was identified as a fourth year surgery student at the Maastricht University in the Netherlands who entered Kenya from Tanzania through the Lunga Lunga border point.

According to court documents seen by the Daily Nation, the man was travelling on a three months holiday visa and had visited Lesotho, South Africa, Zanzibar and Tanzania before arriving into the country.

HELD FOR 10 DAYS

He was to be held for ten days at the police station on a Mombasa court directive to allow police conclude their investigations in relation to terrorism after arresting him along the Kenya-Somalia border.

According to the United Nations and western security agencies, Kenya has been a main route for foreigner terror recruits travelling to Somalia to fight for the Al- Shabaab.

In the past, Kenyan security agencies had arrested a number of British, German, French, and Belgium and American citizens on terror suspicions along the border area.

In March, a Nairobi court sanctioned the deportation of three Belgian men arrested in 2013 in Malindi after completing a one year jail term for being unlawfully resident in Kenya.

Ben Abdalla Ismail, Rachid Benimari (French) and Mustapha Bouyabaren (Belgian) were extradited to Brussels where they were to answer to terror related charges.

In 2010 British national Michael Adebolajo was arrested in Kizingitini village before being deported to the UK and was in 2013 sentenced to life after he was convicted of murdering a British soldier on the streets of London.

 

– Nation

 

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