Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Somaliland: Presidential Pardon For Convicted Food Aid Looters

Somaliland: Presidential Pardon For Convicted Food Aid Looters

Hargeisa,)-The Somaliland Presidency has given a pardon to two men convicted by a Hargeisa Court of the theft of food aid. The two men were arrested at the same time as the former governor of Marodi Jeh region, Ahmed Omar Abdillahi "Hamarje" and the former director of Resettlement at the ministry of Rural Development and Resettlement, Ahmed elimi Yare. All four men were indited on the same charges and convicted together.

However, whilst Hamarje and Ahmed Elmi languish in prison, the two pardoned men, Ahmed Mohamed Gelle "Timo'Adde", who is from the same community as the Somaliland minister for the Presidency, and the alleged power behind the throne, Hersi Ali Nuur, and Abdi Shakur, have both been given a pardon and released last night.

The second released man, Abdi Shakur, was the owner of one of the warehouses used to store the looted food aid. All four men were sentenced to eight years in prison.

The case of the stolen food aid, intended for the poor people of Somaliland, was one of the most shocking cases of corruption the country. Although, many analysts believe that Ahmed Hamarje and Ahmed Elmi were, allegedly, scapegoats for a larger as yet unnamed person or persons involved in scandal.

The pardon and release of the two men takes place prior to their appeal to the Court of Appeal.

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