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    The Federal High Court has ordered the former Somali Region chief to defend his case.

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    Somali Magazine 31 Aug 2023- According to authorities, the Federal High Court determined that Abdi Muhammad Omar (aka Abdi Ille), the former head of government of Somali Regional State, shall defend the case presented against him by the prosecutor. According to Ethiopian Insider, the court stated on Monday, August 28, 2023, that Abdi should respond to the special prosecutor’s charge.

    According to Abdi’s lawyer, the court acquitted 16 of the persons charged in the Abdi Ille case during the hearing on August 28, 2023.
    The Federal High Court’s first anti-terrorism and constitutional trial, which has been dealing with Abdi’s case, was slated for today to deliver a judgement on the prosecutor’s case.

    Based on this, the court determined that 26 of the 42 defendants whose cases are now being considered in the trial should defend the prosecutor’s case.

    Among those summoned to defend the prosecutor’s case was Abdi Mohammed, the former president of the Somali Region for eight years. According to Abdi’s lawyer, the prosecutor’s main accusation against the defender is committing “a crime against the government by carrying a weapon or inciting a civil war.”

    According to his lawyer Eskindir, the Federal High Court decided that the defence, the former president of Somali Region, shall “defend” this criminal charge. The court made its verdict based on statements provided by witnesses for the prosecutor.

    If Abdi is found guilty without being able to fully defend himself, he may face life in prison or the death sentence, according to the Criminal Code.

    During today’s hearing, the Federal Prosecutor said that, in addition to the main case against the defence, a decision on the “alternative case” was reached. According to lawyer Eskindir, the charge is “a crime against the constitution and the constitutional system.” The trial, however, dismissed the alternative accusation since “there is no human or documentary evidence presented by the prosecutor,” according to the defendant’s counsel.

    In connection with the fighting that occurred in Jigjiga Town five years ago, the Federal Attorney General filed accusations against several top officials of the Somali region, including the Region’s chief administrator. It should be noted that, following the commencement of the violence, the Somali Regional Council removed the immunity of other councillors, including the previous president of state, on June 27, 2018.

    Abdi was detained by the Federal Police in Addis Abeba the day following the State Council’s emergency meeting. Six months later, the Federal Attorney General charged him in a single case with 46 other defendants, and Abdi has been following up on his case in prison. Over 59 people have been murdered and over 266 people have been injured as a result of the violence that resulted in the arrest of Somalia’s former head of state on the same case file.

    It should be noted that the violence in the Somali Region caused 412.4 million birr in extra damage to banks and insurance institutions, corporate organisations and government offices, as well as private residential quarters and possessions. The defendants’ proceedings were delayed by the Federal High Court until November 13, 2023.

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