Monday October 8, 2018
Defendant Mohamed Abdikarim Abdullahi was found guilty of forcefully robbing residents in Hodan District of Mogadishu.
MOGADISHU (HOL) – A military court in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Monday sentenced a police officer to eight years in jail over armed robbery spree .
Monday’s hearing by a military court, prosecutors said that the defendant Mohamed Abdikarim Abdullahi, a lower rank police officer did not hide his identity during the robberies against residents in Hodan district in Mogadishu, thus making it easier for detectives to identify and track him down with the help of residents before he was arrested last month.
Prosecutors have since filed a case against the soldier at a military court having concluded weeks-long investigations into the robbery case that they said yielded in the recovery of the devices allegedly taken by the soldier.
According to testimonies made by victims who accused the soldier of having robbed them of their mobile phones at a gunpoint, he has repeatedly confronted several residents with firearms hence forcing them to give up on their devices.
One of the victims testified that the soldier has chased him down into a mosque hoping that the robber would stay away but instead the assailant followed him and forced him to hand over his phone at a gun point.
During the court hearing, the judge said it must have been "terrorizing" for the victims to be confronted by an armed assailant with a gun thus dismissing requests for clemency by defendant’s legal representatives after prosecutors presented mobile phones allegedly taken by the soldier at gunpoint.
However, the prosecuting attorney who pressed charges against the defendant has argued that giving a long jail term sentence against the defendant would serve in the public interest and would also serve as deterrence for other perpetrators during in a heated counter-arguments with the soldier’s legal defense team present at the court.
But, ruling on the case against Ibrahim based on evidence presented, Brigadier General Hassan Abdirahman, the presiding court judge found him guilty to several robberies and sentenced him to eight years in prison.
"Although no one was hurt in the robbery spree committed by him, the effect that his actions had on these victims and others should not be underestimated.” He said referring to the witnesses present at the trial in Mogadishu.
According to the judge, the defendant has another opportunity to file an appeal.