SOMALIA: PUNTLAND SENTENCES YEMENI NATIONAL TO DEATH
October 23, 2012: Ahmed Abdi Botan, head of the Puntland military court, sentenced a Yemeni man to death for bringing a boat from Yemen carrying a cache of weapons and explosives.
Salihi Afif Amoud, 50, was arrested on July 20th while attempting to bring a small fishing boat from Yemen's Mukalla coast to Habo in the Bari region.
Puntland military court prosecutor Abdikarin Hassan Firdiye accused Amoud of having ties to terrorists and militant groups in Somalia, but court-appointed defence attorney Mohamed Hassan Mohamed said Amoud is an innocent victim who knew nothing about the cargo on his boat.
"He said the boat was rented from him and he was given the cargo," Mohamed told Sabahi.
"The real criminal is the man who rented the boat and escaped. I made a request for sentence leniency to the court -- at least life imprisonment since he was an accomplice. The request was denied because according to the law the penalty for the crime he is accused of is death."
The court ruled that the five pistols, wires and three sacks of gunpowder that Amoud brought must be presented to government agencies.
Amoud was transferred to Garowe Central Prison.
The Puntland administration has previously sentenced to death Somali al-Shabaab members, but this is the first time authorities sentenced a foreign national to death. (Sources: sabahionline.com, 24/10/2012)