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Somalia's Puntland sentences four over journalist's murder


GAROWE, Puntland - A military court in Puntland sentenced two men to death by firing squad and two others to different jail terms over the murder of a renowned journalist in Galkayo, a town within the border of Puntland and Galmadug.

The four were convicted over the death of Jamal Farah Aden which caused uproar in the northern state of Somalia. Various human rights groups and the media fraternity has have been pushing for the conviction of the suspects.

A communication issued by the military court indicated that Adde Abdullahi Mohamed and Abdiqani Saleban Jama alias Saylor were both sentenced to death by firing squad after they confessed to the murder.

Court documents establish that Abdiqani Saylor told the court that he would be paid $ 50 for each murder he executed, including that of the slain journalist. He has been using the deaths for commercial gains.

Hassan Jama Mohamed and Mohamed Ali Ahmed alias Qaroon were sentenced to 25 and 15-year prison terms respectively for being accomplices to the murder of Jamal, the court pronounced itself in the judgment, which is one of the many of such nature which have been delivered.

The slain journalist was killed in Galkayo in March last year by members of Al-Shabaab. The group claimed responsibility for the killing of the journalist whom they accused of being a member of Puntland intelligence and was working to turn members of the public against the militants.

Al-Shabaab has been making inroads in the vast state thus leading to operations by Puntland regional troops, Puntland Security Forces [PSF], and the Somali National Army [SNA]. The US Africa Command has also previously assisted regional troops in executing the operations.

In Somalia, military courts have often been used in trying people associated with the Al-Shabaab militants and hardcore criminals. The country does not have a concrete justice system thus leading to abortion in some cases due to lack of evidence.


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