Somali military court sentences soldier to death

Li Jiayao

MOGADISHU, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Somalia military court in Somalia on Monday sentenced a soldier to death for killing the country's minister of public works and reconstruction in May.

The military appeals court upheld an earlier ruling in June which found guilty constable Ahmed Abdullahi Aidid for killing Abbas Sheikh Siraji, the country's youngest minister by a bullet.

"Having heard from the appellant and the state prosecutor, I hereby agree with the lower court that Constable Ahmed Abdullahi Abdi Aidid is guilty of killing the minister in May," a military judge said in his ruling.

A lower court found the military officer attached to then auditor general Nur Farah guilty in June 19 but the defendant appealed the ruling.

The court sitting in Mogadishu Monday said the officer killed the minister using an AK-47 gun firing two bullet at him.

The minister, a former refugee in Kenya, was driving himself to the presidential palace in Mogadishu when the military officer who was at the back of a vehicle driving the auditor general to the same direction fired at the minister, killing him instantly.

Siraji was the youngest member of the Somali Federal Parliament and became minister in the Somalia's cabinet in March. The minister becomes the minister to be assassinated in Mogadishu.

Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo who was forced to cut short his visit to Ethiopia ordered a probe into the killing and immediately dismissed the auditor general.


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