Son of slain Kenyan cleric denies grenade plot charge

Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:08am EST

* Suspects accused of planning to blow up police stations

* Cleric suspected by U.S. of ties with al-Qaeda linked militants

* Killing provoked riots, raising tensions before elections

By Joseph Akwiri

MOMBASA, Kenya, Nov 23 (Reuters) - A son of the slain Muslim cleric whose killing touched off days of riots in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa has denied court charges he plotted to blow up two police stations at the coastal tourist haven.

Khubeib Aboud Rogo and four others were accused of planning to use grenades to attack Mombasa's main police station in the central business district, and another along a busy highway.

Rogo's co-accused also denied the charges at a hearing late on Thursday. The five will remain in custody until a court ruling on their bail application on December 3.

The United States had accused Rogo's father, Aboud Rogo, of helping al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants in Kenya's neighbour Somalia.

Before his death, Rogo senior was also facing charges of planning acts of terror and importing illegal weapons.

His assassination in August unleashed deadly riots, exposing deep social, political and sectarian divides that could lead to more violence ahead of a presidential election next year.

Rogo's supporters fought street battles with the security forces. At least five people were killed as churches and two grenades thrown at police vehicles. (Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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