Somalia’s Attorney General appeals against the recent judgment of the Banadir Regional Court. In the recent highly anticipated trial, the court acquitted five out of 11 individuals accused of corruption-related charges. The six remaining defendants received prison terms ranging from 6 months to 9 years.
Mogadishu, SOMALIA. By Jama:
The accused officials worked for various government institutions, including the Immigration and Naturalization Directorate of Somalia (IND), the Land Tax Office of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and the Central Bank of Somalia.
The dismissal of charges against the five officials suggested that the Attorney General’s actions might have been flawed and politically motivated. The Attorney General’s Office said it had already completed the preliminary procedures for an appeal. These are stipulated in Article 214 of the XHCS (Somali Criminal Procedure Code).
“The Office of the Attorney General has filed an appeal in accordance with Articles 210, 212, 213, 216, 227 of the XHCS, challenging the Judgment marked MGB/DDL/488/2023, MGB/DDL/1044/2023, MGB/DDL/938/2023, dated 28/09/2023, from the Banadir Regional Court,” further stated the Attorney General’s Office.
Diverting attention from other issues?
Controversy has surrounded the case. Some of the accused civil servants left the country. They blamed political motivation behind the process and questioned the fairness of the judgment.
Abdullahi Aden Kulane, a Member of the Federal Parliament of Somalia, voiced his anger over the proceeding. “It is now clear that the purported crackdown on corruption should have diverted attention from widespread corruption involving cronies within this administration and distract the public from failures on multiple fronts, while also going after individuals for political purposes. To the innocent Somalis, who the courts found innocent and have been subjected to unfair treatment and suffered harm to their reputations, need to be granted a state apology, compensation, and their positions within the Government should be reinstated.”
Moreover, Mr Kulane called upon the court to block future attempts to use the judiciary as a political tool. According to him, the court should scrutinise cases before accepting them. This would “ensure that they only consider those with genuine merits.”