VIRGINIA, USA Jul 29 2012 (Garowe Online) – A former
Somaliland official is being tried for piracy charges and has been confined to his
home while the government is pursuing an appeal, Garowe Online reports.
According to Frederic J. Frommer an AP reporter, who broke
the story, he reported that Ali Mohamed Ali’s trial had been adjourned after
prosecutors failed to provide sufficient evidence in the pretrial hearing.
The US District Judge Ellen Huvelle, scolded prosecutors who
had indicted Mr. Ali on four charges and failed to provide what Judge Huvelle
called a “smoking gun”.
Instead of holding Mr. Ali in jail while prosecutors came up
with evidence, the Judge ordered Mr. Ali to house arrest who will wear a
"Why should I keep him locked up for another year so
you can litigate a principle?" said Judge Huvelle according to the AP
Mr. Ali a former Director of Somaliland’s Ministry of
Education had been charged with four counts of conspiracy to commit piracy;
piracy under the law of nations; conspiracy to commit hostage taking; and
hostage taking, for what prosecutors are saying was his involvement in
negotiating a ransom for a Danish vessel captured by Somali pirates in 2008.
At last week’s trial Judge Huvelle indicated that her
decision would be to release Mr. Ali until the prosecutors had come up with a
solid case, even advising prosecutors to not pursue a case that is not winnable.
"That's not what
a criminal case is about. You should not be prosecuting a case that you cannot
win. It is an outrage," said Judge Huvelle.
Mr. Ali will be held to confinement in his home where
according to the judge will only allowed to meet with his lawyer and go to Friday