Nnamdi Felix / Abuja
At the resumed trial of suspected Lebanese terrorists before a Federal High Court siting in Abuja and presided over by Justice Adeniyi Ademola, digital video clips of interview sessions held separately by security operatives with the suspected terrorists, Mustapha Fawaz, Abdallah Tahini and Talal Ahmad Roda, revealed that one of the suspects took aerial photograph of strategic buildings in Abuja from atop Sheraton building.
The digital video clips contained in Eight DVD copies, were tendered before the court by the prosecutor, Mr. Simon Egede who is the Director of Public Prosecution and were admitted in evidence by the court.
The suspected terrorists lawyer, Chief Robert Clarke, a senior advocate of Nigeria, did not object to the admissibility of the 8 DVDs as well as the statement of the tenth prosecuting witness. However, he indicated that he would challenge the credibility of the DVDs.
Justice Adeniyi granted the request of Mr. Egede for the video clips to be played in the court. In the first video clip played on a projector, the prosecution’s tenth witness identified Mr. Talal Rhoda, the 3rd accused person, who was found and arrested at 3 Gaya Road, Kano on 26th May, 2013.
The interview session revealed that Rhoda admitted having knowledge of the existence of a bunker in the house he was found and arrested in Kano as well as his admission that he serviced the weapons hidden underneath the bunker from time to time.
Similarly, Mustapha Fawaz, the 1st accused, during his own interview session as shown in the video clip, admitted taking aerial pictures of strategic buildings in Abuja from the Sheraton building.
He stated that he conducted some foreigners round the federal capital city in a bid to locate the Israeli Embassy in Abuja.
The video clips also revealed one of the suspects admitting that they received military training in 1991 as members of the Resistant Movement in Lebanon and that there was a surveillance camera installed at Amigo supermarket in Abuja, with which they captured images of Israelis who patronize the supermarket.
After playing the relevant portions of the interview as contained in the 8 DVDs as tendered by the prosecution, the prosecutor, Mr. Simon Egede, closed his case.
Consequently, the court ordered that copies of the DVDs be made available to the defence on or before Friday and fixed 2nd, 5th and 6th August for the suspected terrorists to open their defence.
Speaking with newsmen after the proceedings, Mr. Egede expressed happiness that the matter went very well as he was able to close his case adding that he is confident with progress he’s made so far.
“The videos clips confirmed the unauthorized and illegal surveillance carried out by the first accused person along with his foreign collaborators, where they captured different strategic buildings in Abuja, while perched on top of Sheraton building and also confirmed that the suspect carried some foreign collaborators around Abuja, searching for the Israeli embassy. It also confirmed that they have surveillance camera in Amigo supermarket with which they captured their customers, especially foreigners and specifically, Israeli customers” Egede added.
He further pointed out that the video clips have confirmed that the 3rd accused person was resident at no. 3 Gaya road and was aware of the underground bunker and serviced these weapons and armory from time to time.
“All these, in a way, has confirmed all that we stated in our counts of the charge and the statement of all our witnesses,” Egede maintained.
On his part, Chief Robert Clarke stated that the video clips had shown nothing new, that what they contain are exactly what is contained in the statement his clients have offered.
“They have not denied in the video that they had some training with Hezbollah. But these were things done in 1991, when they were young men. As resistant officers, they were bound to serve their country just like we have our National Youths Service Corps. So, they are not denying that they served in the Hezbollah 23 years ago. But that is not the issue before the court. So, there is nothing new in the video that is already not known in their evidence, there is nothing new” the defence attorney insisted.
Source: PM News
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