Uganda Brothers â€œTerrorâ€? Trial Starts
â€œIf they really had any evidence against my son, they wouldnâ€™t have traveled to Kampala,â€? the father says, a reference to UK agents interviewing him in Uganda.
[Africa News Update]
The trial of two Ugandans arrested last year on alleged terrorism charges kicked off at the Old Baily on Friday.
The brothers Hassan Mutegombwa 21 and Yassin Mutegombwa 23 are charged with procuring funds for terrorism, and in one brother’s case, terror-training.
Allegedly on July 25, 2006 Hassan was stopped from boarding a British Airways flight to Nairobi when the airliner was alerted by the British authorities who had obtained information that he had borrowed some money from an undercover agent. Hassan’s older brother faces three counts of allegedly receiving training for terrorism. Allegedly, Yassin received training in weaponry at Woodland area near Matley Wood Caravan and Camping site, Beaulieu Road, Lyndhurst, near Southampton City.
Additionally, the authorities allege Yassin received training near Pondwood farm, White Waltham, and Berkshire in June 2006. The weapons training was “‘wholly or partly for the purpose connected with the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism,” the prosecution alleges.
A Scotland Yard spokesman says that domestic terror training was "clearly recognized as a problem" and that the Terrorism Act of 2006 specifically included a new broad offense of receiving training that could be used for terrorism.
“The only evidence is he borrowed some money, and that he was traveling to Kenya where he was meant to meet me,” says the boys’ father, Baker Mutegombwa, who is convinced that his sons were framed.
“At this stage and the evidence paraded heavily based on by court against my sons, it would be a miscarriage of justice to let such evidence stand. The only evidence linked to the duo, is the tapes for their religious studies and the money borrowed for the journey,” adds the father, who dismisses the notion that his sons had any connection to Al Qaeda.
British agents have interviewed both parents in connection with the charges against the brothers.
“If they really had any evidence against my son, they wouldn’t have traveled to Kampala,” the father says, a reference to UK agents interviewing him in Uganda. “They only came to ask me if I was really going to meet him; and they questioned me why I was meeting him in Kenya yet he was destined for Uganda?” says Mutegombwa. The brothers have reportedly lived in the UK since 1991, with their mother; Yassin was a motorbike engineer and Hassan, a mechanic.
Separately, a Ugandan national, Jamil Kiyemba, spent three years at an American Military Camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, allegedly for being involved with al Qaeda.
Kiyemba, as with the two Mutegombwa brothers, had also lived in the UK with a
mother. He is said to have traveled to Pakistani. He was later taken to Bagram before being sent to Guantanamo Bay.
After his release from Guantanamo, he was sent to Uganda when the UK refused him re-entry.
Investigative news reporter Miwambo writes for The Black Star News from London. Send all news tips to email@example.com
To comment or to subscribe to or advertise in New York’s leading Pan African weekly investigative newspaper, or to send us a news tip, please call (212) 481-7745 or send a note to Milton@blackstarnews.com
"Speaking Truth To Empower."