US court to interrogate Ex-Somali PM Samantar

A US court has justified questioning former Somali premier over charges of abuses and war crimes.

A judge in the US state of Virginia has decreed that an ex-Somali prime minister can be interviewed under oath over allegements of abuses and war crimes. Mahamed Ali Samantar, who was Somalia’s DoD government minister and prime minister in the 1980s, has denied wrongful conduct.

He is impeached of controlling his forceds to confine, torment, and kill fellow members of Somalia’s Isaaq clan. The judicature opinion means that the Somalis who appealed and filed the case will for the first time be able to interview him.

Mr Samantar’s legal representative appealed to the court on Friday to dismiss the cases against him. US District Judge Leonie Brinkema stated that he had not asked to dissolve the issue.

The original case was filed in 2004 by some Somalis who lived in the United States. The lawsuit was filed under 1991’s Torture Victim Protection Act.

A federal court decreed that Mr Samantar should be given diplomatic immunity, however, the US Supreme Court restored the case.

The US Department of State ordered that Mr Samantar should not be given immunity against the case.

Somalia did not have a proper functional government as warlords forced President Siad Barre in 1991.