Mogadishu(Mogadishu24)-For years, Somalia’s judicial system has been facing relentless criticism from the public and experts alike due to perceived unfair judgments, especially concerning crime cases. There has been growing discontent with the judiciary’s performance, which has been a crucial challenge for the government and has led to calls for reforms to address these shortcomings.

At the National Conference on Police and Prosecution coordination and oversight mechanisms, Gen. Mahad Abdirahman Aden, the Commander of the Custodial Corps, accused the Police and courts of keeping suspects on remand for more than ten years without a judgement.

“From the judges, investigating agencies, the police, and us, the prison officers, justice should begin with us. We must demonstrate fairness in our work while dealing with suspects and criminals. In the cells, we only keep those who have been arrested by the police and investigation agencies, but upon analysis, you might believe they were unjustly arrested or judged,” stated General Shube, National Prison Commissioner.

He added, “In the cell, there is someone who has been in custody for 10 years, and he is only in remand without being judged. Where is the justice here? Of course, there is no justice.”

However, Somalia’s Supreme Court President, Bashe Yusuf Ahmed, refuted the commissioner’s claims and stated that no one is entitled to prolonged remand without being judged.

“I urge leaders and top government officials to be vigilant about the information they are giving out to the public; it should be true information and free from any propaganda. This involves misinformation and disinformation, which the leaders shouldn’t engage in. The claims that there are prisoners who are waiting for judgment and kept in cells for 10 years are far from the truth and impossible. Even for a suspect, remand cannot extend for five months; the time frame for suspects to be remanded is between 15 to 90 days to provide room for investigations, and any other extension given by the court falls within this range,” stated the chairman of the Supreme Court.

The Attorney General, Suleiman Mohamed Mohamud, also dismissed the claims, stating that the office of the Attorney General oversees investigations and acquires records of the prisoners every 48 hours. He emphasized that no suspect was kept in prolonged remand without being judged.

“The office of the Attorney General is mandated by the constitution to oversee the investigations conducted by the police. We acquire the list of prisoners and their files within every 48 hours, except on public holidays or Fridays. Upon analyzing the files, the office ensures that the right procedures are followed, including the court procedures,” stated Suleiman Mohamed, the Attorney General.

“These claims that one is kept in remand for 10 years are lies and should be regarded as nothing more than misinformation. Whoever said so should withdraw their statement or provide substantial evidence to prove these claims,” he added.

Somalia’s investigations agencies have recently intensified efforts to combat corruption and strengthen their systems to foster justice in cases that have jeopardized the country’s growth.

In early June 2023, the Office of the Attorney General issued arrest warrants for 18 top government officials in relation to the $21 million scandal following thorough forensic investigations conducted by the Office of the Auditor General The case is now at the Benadir regional court and will be determined upon the conclusion of the hearing.

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