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Mogadishu court concludes trial for man accused of burning pregnant wife to death

Monday March 4, 2024

Three judges from the Banadir Regional Court/ FACEBOOK

Mogadishu (HOL) - The Banadir Regional Court has wrapped up the high-profile murder trial of Sayid Ali Moalin Haji Daoud, who is accused of fatally setting his pregnant wife on fire in their Mogadishu home in late January. Daoud was apprehended by government forces just over a week after the murder in the rural Mudug region, where he had fled with two accomplices. 

The victim, Luul Sheikh Abdiaziz, was a respected employee at Aden Abdulle International Airport and the mother of six. She died at Erdogan Hospital from injuries sustained in the blaze, which prosecutors allege was ignited by Daoud following a domestic argument.

During the trial, Daoud admitted to starting the fire but denied intending to kill his wife, disputing the murder charges against him. The prosecution countered with evidence, including the charred remains of Abdiaziz's phone and testimonies from eyewitnesses, including her children, to build their case against him.

Daoud's defence, led by renowned trial attorney Ali Halane, argued that the incident was a tragic accident rather than premeditated murder, questioning the reliability of the prosecution's evidence and highlighting Daoud's injuries on his right hand from the fire as proof of his unintended involvement. However, Daoud conceded that although he had loved his wife, he had been jealous of Luul in the lead-up to their latest fight.

Sayid Ali Moalin Haji Daoud, with his right hand bandaged, sits in an open-air detention center following his arrest by Somali government forces. Daoud is accused of setting his pregnant wife on fire in a case that has sparked widespread outrage across Somalia. SONNA

Luul's family has been deeply affected by the tragedy and has publicly refused to bury her until justice is served. They have also rejected calls to accept 'blood money' in exchange for the Daoud's release. The family's stance has garnered significant sympathy and support from the community. Luul's father, Sheikh Abdiaziz Mohamed, has been particularly vocal, demanding a thorough investigation and a fair trial for Daoud. He has also called on the Somali government to take more decisive action against domestic violence and to provide better protection for women.

The Mayor of Mogadishu, Yusuf Hussein Jimale Madale, has pledged to support Luul's orphaned children, including both financial assistance and social services to help the children cope with the loss of their mother and the traumatic circumstances surrounding her death.

The murder occurred in the midst of growing public protests against domestic violence in the country. The increase in violence prompted Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to meet with Mogadishu police to discuss legal reforms and improving women's safety.

The court is expected to render its verdict in the next few days for the high-profile murder trial, which has ignited widespread outrage and prompted demands for justice from both the local community and international observers.


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