Kenya attack: Charges dropped against Lamu's Timamy

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Issa Timamy has always denied involvement in the attacks

A Kenyan court has dropped terrorism and murder charges against the governor of the coastal Lamu region.

Issa Timamy was accused of involvement in two attacks which killed at least 60 people in the region in June.

The court rejected the prosecution's request for more time to investigate the case, and ordered the return of his bail bond.

Somalia's militant Islamist group al-Shabab said its fighters carried out the raids in Lamu.

However, Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta denied that al-Shabab was involved and blamed "local political networks" for the violence.

Mr Timamy, who always maintained his innocence, welcomed the ruling.

"There is no way I could attack my people," he said outside court, the AFP news agency reports.

The raids on Mpeketoni town and surrounding villages were the most deadly in Kenya since September 2013, when at least 67 people were killed by al-Shabab fighters at Nairobi's Westgate shopping centre.

The unrest has badly affected Kenya's tourist industry, a key foreign currency earner.

Kenyan troops are part of a 22,000-strong African Union (AU) force battling the militants in Somalia.