Somaliland: Prison Term for King Rabi after Proved Guilty as Charged


King Rabi Yusuf to serve 2 years By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – A court in the capital Hargeisa has sentenced King Rabi Yusuf to two years imprisonment.

The king who has been in custody for the 45 days was found guilty of support to the federal government in Mogadishu where he is said to have not only participated but actively solicited support for the Somalia draft constitutional assembly held in the southern city of Mogadishu.

While passing sentence the Hargeisa court presiding magistrate Osman Ibrahim Dahir said the King had been found guilty thus sentenced as per the dictates of section 212 of the penal code.

King Rabi Yusuf a local traditional leader was arrested upon arrival in the country from Mogadishu a fact that other traditional leaders from his clan had disputed during a press conference a few days after the confinement, demanding that the king be arraigned in court immediately or released.

The guilty verdict meted upon the king was termed as illegal by his legal counsel Mohamed Ahmed Abokor who said that not only did the prosecution fail to prove its assertion that his client actively participated in any Somalia related affairs but that the section 212 quoted by the magistrate does not indicate what crimes it deals with.

Though the government of Somaliland resumed contact with Somalia after a hiatus of 21 years following approval by parliament last year, individual citizens are still deter by law from any association with the Mogadishu government thus an offence with the magnitude of treason.

A few days prior to the arrest of King Rabi a member of the Somalia parliament who had been cornered by police in Gabile was fined $150 and deportation to Mogadishu within 24 hours upon depositing the fine with the court in Hargeisa.

According to the Gabile regional police Chief Captain Suleiman Duale ‘Dega’ade’, The Mogadishu based Somalia legislator MP Jama Ahmed Mahmud who had been in the country clandestinely for a fortnight was arrested and charged with treason because he originally hails from the country’s western town of Gabile thus a traitor to the Nation for having joined the Unionists in South Somalia, an act that is contrary to the laws of Somaliland.

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