Garowe Court Acquits Six Defendants

Garowe (PP News Desk) —  The First Level Court of Nugaal yesterday acquitted six men whose innocence was determined by a DNA test by the Bureau of Forensic Science in Garowe.

The six men were accused of the rape and murder of Hodan Mohamed Ahmed in April 2019.  The prosecutor asked for the death penalty against seven defendants.

Defendants’ lawyers reviewing their written submissions in the court.

Lawyers for the six men questioned the reliability of the evidence used to put the six defendants on trial.  The jury was shown a video clip about Mohamed Deq, the seventh man accused of the rape and murder of Hodan, cofessing to the crime.

Mohamed Deq vacated his plea, prompting lawyers of the six men to argue that defendants have been put on trial on the basis of confession by one defendant who should undergo a psychiatric test. The trial was postponed several times. Belated DNA tests prolonged it.

A defendant taking an oath on the Holy Koran.

Yasin Saeed Farah the Acting Director of Puntland Criminal Investigation Department told the judge and jury that in March 2020 the CID again had approached the Bureau of Forensic Science in Garowe to have DNA tests on the six defendants conducte.

“The DNA samples from the six defendants were compared with the DNA traces found on the body and clothes of the late Hodan. They did not match” said Yasin. Yasin has not clarified why the CID sent a request for DNA samples to the Burea of Forensic Science eleven months after the murder of Hodan.

The judge of the First Level Court acquited the six defendants of murder after they had taken an oath on the Holy Koran to plead innocent to the murder of Hodan Mohamed Ahmed.

The court indefinitely postponed the verdict on Mohamed Deq.

© Puntland Post, 2020