Addis Abeba, August 09/2019 – Ex-Somali region president Abdi Muhamud Omer a.k.a Abdi Iley, told judges at the federal high court 4th criminal bench today that he is no longer continuing his trial with his defense team because the judges and prosecutors handling his trial were not allowing his defense team present their properly.
Abdi Iley said this at a hearing today adjourned to hear corrected charges after the judges told prosecutors during the hearing held on July 24 to correct the charges against Abdi Iley, the first defendant, and Zemzem Hassen, the 43rd defendant in which prosecutors were told to further explain the criminal charges against Abdi Iley on whether the charges included accusation of “attempts to overthrow constitutional order.” On the case of the Zemzem, the court told prosecutors to correct the gender to female from what was mentioned as male.
The judges also ordered prosecutors to hand over copies of evidence both the the court and the defense team at the same hearing on July 24 and adjourned the next hearing for today.
However, Abdi Iley told judges today that his defense team were not able to discharge their responsibilities due to the court’s bias by refusing to hear complaints. “I have lost trust in this court,” he told the judges, “and I don’t want to continue with my defense team because it makes no difference. We come hear to hear the judges and the prosecutors and not to be heard,” he said.
Abdi Iley appeared in the court under heavy presence of security forces drawn from members of federal army, members of federal police and members of prison police. He complained that false news reports about him were straining his freedom leading to him being heavily guarded.