Four Somalis charged in connection with Westgate mall massacre in Kenya
Suspects accused of entering Kenya illegally and obtaining false identification documents
Kenya charged four men yesterday in connection with the Westgate mall massacre in September that took at least 67 lives, an attack Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked Shebab claimed responsibility for.
"The accused persons carried out a terrorist attack at Westgate Shopping Mall on September 21 by supporting a terrorist group," the charge sheet read.
All pleaded not guilty to the charges, which also included entering Kenya illegally and obtaining false identification documents.
None are accused of being the gunmen in the mall.
The four, all ethnic Somalis, are Mohammed Ahmed Abdi, Liban Abdullah, Adan Adan and Hussein Hassan.
The suspects, who had no lawyer, were remanded in custody for one week after the prosecution asked for more time to investigate further.
All the gunmen in the Westgate attack - totalling just four, not the dozen that security forces had initially reported - are understood to have died during the four-day siege.
Interpol was assisting Kenya in identifying four bodies suspected of being the gunmen's, police said last week.
Witnesses in the mall described how the fighters stormed the crowded complex, firing from the hip and hurling grenades at shoppers and staff.
The gunmen executed scores of people, with witnesses recounting how in some cases they called out to the wounded and then shot them at close range.
The Kenyan Red Cross has said some 20 people are still missing, and there are fears more bodies could be found in the wreckage of the mall.
Some of those charged were arrested in Kenya's northwestern desert refugee camp of Kakuma, a vast settlement home to more than 125,000 refugees from across the region, including Somalia.
Detectives are continuing to investigate a possible link to Norway, with Ndegwa Muhoro, head of Kenya's Police Criminal Investigation Department, saying last week that a telephone call was made to the country from the mall during the attack.
A Norwegian citizen of Somali origin is suspected of being one of the attackers, a 23-year-old named in media reports as Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow.
Norway's PST intelligence agency has said it has investigated reports about the possible involvement of a Norwegian of Somali origin in both planning and carrying out the attack, but has declined to say if Dhuhulow was involved. After the attack, the Shebab threatened further attacks against Kenya, after Nairobi refused to pull its troops out of Somalia.