Puntland acquits six men accused of raping

A court in Somalia’s northeastern region, Puntland has acquitted six men after prosecutors failed to prove them guilt.

The six along with another suspect accused of brutally raping and murdering a woman in Garowe last year.

Hodon Shanlayste was killed in her home last year after being brutally raped. Investigators believe that she was suffocated with a plastic bag.

The judge found six not guilty of involving in the raping and killing of the victim.

He noted that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the six conspired with another man still behind bars.

“I find that the circumstantial evidence relied upon by the prosecution was insufficient to establish that the rape and murder of Hodan Shanleyste was a case of murder perpetrated by these six accused persons. I will, as the law requires, give a benefit of considerable doubt established by the facts in the counsel’s submissions,” said the judge.

The court order the police further launch investigation into the case the seventh accused who partially confessed of the case.

In recent years, Puntland prosecutors have been carrying cases of rape and GBV cases as courts sentenced rape convicts to various sentences.

Early this, Puntland executed two men by firing squad for the gang rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl,.

Aisha Ilyaas Aden was abducted, gang raped and killed near her home in Galkayo, in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, in February 2019.

Ten suspects were initially arrested but the regional High Court found three of them guilty in May that year.

The government executed of them and third one was released after the father of the victim forgave him.

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