Two police officers were on Monday charged with kidnapping.

Mr Painito Bera Ngangai and Mr James Ngaparini Sipiti are said to have kidnapped two senior officials of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) of Ethiopia, Mr Ali Ahmed Hussein and Mr Sulub Abdi Ahmed, inNairobiand spirited them out of the country to Moyale inEthiopiawithout their consent.

The Ogaden National Liberation Front, a separatist rebel group fighting to make the region of Ogaden in easternEthiopiaan independent state, was established in 1984.

DID NOT PLEAD

The two police officers were not asked to plead to the charges after the prosecution requested time to complete certain administrative procedures.

“We are asking the court to defer the plea for three days since the suspects are serving police officers and the investigating officer needs time to complete administrative procedures,” prosecutor Fridah Mwanza told senior principal magistrate Doreen Mulyeko, who granted the request.

POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED

Ms Mulyeko directed that Mr Ngangai and Mr Sipiti be remanded in custody at Kileleshwa police station until Thursday when they will be asked to plead to the charge.

The policemen were arrested last Friday and spent the weekend in police custody.

The Ogaden National Liberation Front officials were allegedly abducted outside Arabian Cuisine in Upper Hill on January 26 and, according to Nairobi County Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss Nicholas Kamwende, witnesses positively identified the officers who allegedly committed the offence.

According to the CID boss, the abductors were using three cars but one of them, a black Toyota Prado, was later intercepted in Turbi.

The whereabouts of the two other cars is not known but it is suspected that they were driven intoEthiopia.

Some ONLF officials have alleged that security agencies from bothEthiopiaandKenyawere involved in the kidnapping.

Moyale police boss Tom Atuti said there had been reports of the abduction of the two officials but investigations were yet to reveal those behind it.

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