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Kenya: Westgate Mall Terrorist Attack Verdict Postponed

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NOOR KHAMIS/AFP or licensors

Kenya

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It's a verdict expected by many in Kenya. But victims and their family, will have to wait another day.

On Monday, a judge in Kenya was expected to announce the sentence of 3 suspects accused - among other charges, of conspiring to commit terrorism as per a violent attack conducted by Islamist extremists from al-Shabaab on Westgate Mall in Nairobi 7 years ago on September 21, 2013.

It's the fourth time the sentencing has been postponed.

Shiksha Arora, a survivor from the incident who was hosting a children's cooking competition live on the sunny Sunday weekend afternoon was there when the heavily armed militants with grenades began murdering people all around her.

Trauma

She remembers how a child fell back onto her from a gunshot in the back and how many of the people within the vicinity were paralysed with fear, "People injured, people begging for help, people crying. It was something that is going to stay with me for the rest of my life. Those particular sights and sounds just will continue replaying in my memory and I always have flashbacks of that moment when I was running to the exit."

The radio presenter who survived that terrifying day wants justice for others like her colleague who was not so fortunate, "So I'm in anticipation of this verdict and I really do hope that on the day of the sentencing, the judge rules, that these people are responsible for the attack and they get sentenced to death and we can finally move on with lives and get the closure that we truly deserve.

Justice?

The attack resulted in close to 70 people losing their lives - with the 4 attackers themselves believed to have been killed in the brutal standoff.

Security forces reclaimed the mall after several hours, but could only completely secure the Westgate Mall 3 days after the attack.

For the past five years, prosectors have interviewed over 145 witnesses in the hope to finally bring closure to one of the deadliest attack of Kenya's recent history.

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