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Kenya delays Islamist preacher trial

30 October 2012, 08:27

Mombasa - A Kenyan court delayed on Monday the trial of a radical Muslim preacher charged with inciting deadly riots, after prosecution said they needed more time to prepare their case.

Abubaker Shariff Ahmed, also known as Makaburi, is charged with three counts of inciting violent protests in Kenya's main port city of Mombasa, after the assassination in August of fellow Islamist cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed.

Ahmed has denied encouraging that violence, which saw two days of running battles, with grenades hurled at two police trucks, killing three officers and wounding over a dozen others.

"We have to wait for the file from the director of public prosecution," said prosecution lawyer Samson Kiptum.

Ahmed - like the murdered cleric, popularly known as Rogo - was also on United States sanctions list for allegedly supporting neighbouring Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab, including by recruiting and fundraising for the group.

Ahmed's lawyer Mureithi Mbugua said it is "disheartening to see the hearing adjourned", adding that the trial "should have started immediately and be concluded within reasonable time."

The trial was set to begin on November 29.



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