By Goth Mohamed Goth
Hargeisa-Members of Somaliland Judiciary have accused the current government of interference of the independent judiciary and rulings of the courts in the country and these allegations can be proved by a written statement from a cabinet Minister ordering a judge to drop charges against the accused in a case.
The Chairman of the Appeal court Judge Abdirashid Duraan and the chairman of Hargeisa district court Judge Feisal Abdillahi Ali and Prosecutor Hussein Belel during a press conference accused some cabinet ministers of pressuring them to release some suspects in custody and to drop all charges leveled against them.
The member of the judiciary in the press conference read letter writing and signed by the assistant Minister of Interior and in Charge of national security Mr. Abdullah Abokor Osman ordering them to immediately release the suspects in question.
The Hargeisa district chief magistrate Feisal speaking at the press conference said, “We are fed up and we also feel insulted as members of the independent judiciary and we can’t execute our work freely if the constant interference of our work by some cabinet ministers continues, persons who are try using their position and influence to release those accused persons who we have sentenced and convicted after finding them guilty of crimes.
“How do you expect us to fulfill our work and duties if whenever were sentence a guilty person that person becomes the crony of a certain big shot in the government or he is related to someone or he is from certain clan or he is the brother in law to some cabinet minister and it’s so sad to see our justice is based who knows who and not the law”, He stated.
The Hargeisa district chief magistrate went on to say, “Some Ministers have in the past tried to act as lawyers for convicted thugs and after we in the judiciary take our stand by declining to relent to their self-serving orders they in turn accuse us (Judiciary) of taking bribes,
The chairman of the court of Appeal speaking at the press briefing said, “Out of the 5800 cases that reached the courts last year 4800 were settled and before anyone decides to criticize the judiciary on how they serve justice they should first of all ask themselves, do those in the judiciary accorded the rights they deserve ,do they earn good salaries ,what facilities do they use in dispensing justice ,How does their work environment look like and do those junior staff who work with them get any means of assistance in form of training but again we try our best under all this circumstances to dispense justice and I believe we deserve more than the bad mouthing.
Also present during the press conference was one of Court Prosecutors Mr. Hussien Belel who said, “I want to declare here today the notion which say the judiciary is free from any outside inference is false and the judiciary in this country is not free from interference, to prove my words we have in front of me a letter from the assistant Minister of Interior Mr. Abdillahi Abokor and signed by him ordering the prosecutor office of the immediate release and the dropping of all charges against a suspect in a theft case and which states as follows:-
REF: For the Sake of Peace and Safeguarding the General, We Do Hereby Order You to Drop all Charges in the Land case and Refer this Matter to Local Government Committee on Solving Land Disputes Peace
In Accordance with Article #17 which addresses the issue of land cases but the Minister is forgetting the issue at hand is not a land dispute matter but a theft case what he didn’t know is that he just wrote the letter without even wanting to know the details of the issue of contention but we are required to do and execute our duties and we are committed to execute them without fear or remorse or any hindrance or interference and we won’t allow a Minister or even someone higher to interfere with our work and we urges anyone who has evidence which may implicated us in bribery or case fixing to come forward and may I remind you our work speaks for its self and we are determined to be independent from any outside influence whatsoever and that goes to those ministers who are used to accusing the judiciary of being rotten.
Mr. Mohamed Said a Lawyer who spoke at the press briefing said, “The Minister who know for bad mouthing the judiciary should be fired by the President and we don’t understand why he still working for the government when he is always saying bad things about it.