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Case thrown out against Timamy

10 September 2014, 20:45

Mombasa - A judge ended the case Wednesday against the governor of the coastal region of Lamu, who had been arrested on allegations of links to a spate of massacres.

Governor Issa Timamy of Lamu was arrested in July in connection with a string of coastal killings, which were claimed by Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militia but blamed by the government on local political networks.

The governor, who was never charged and had been freed on bail, always fiercely denied any connection to the massacre of close to 50 people.

Judge Martin Muya on Wednesday rejected calls by the prosecution for more time to probe the massacres before they could press charges, and ordered his bail bond be returned.

Also read: Bensouda 'disappointed' at Uhuru trial delay

While prosecution lawyers could still request charges against the governor if and when investigations turn up evidence, the ruling effectively ends the case.

"I am happy with the ruling, for I had nothing to do with the attack," Timamy said outside court. "There is no way I could attack my people."

Survivors of the attack in the town of Mpeketoni reported gunmen speaking Somali and carrying Shebab flags, saying their actions were revenge for Kenya's military presence in Somalia.

The unrest in the coastal region has already badly dented Kenya's tourist industry a key foreign currency earner and massive employer for the country.

Last month Kenyatta signed a construction deal for the first berths in a proposed multi-billion dollar port, and ordered vast tracts of "stolen" land be repossessed.

The planned $24 billion (18 billion euro) Lamu port project, due to be finished by 2030, is intended to serve much of east Africa, with oil pipelines to South Sudan and railways to Ethiopia and Uganda from the Indian Ocean coast.



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