Gurbiye back to Court Tuesday as AG introduces new charges

Goobjoog Media Group editor Abdiaziz Gurbiye is returning to court tomorrow for the third time to face newly amended charges.

Lawyers for the journalists confirmed they had received summons from the court to appear Tuesday amid growing voices for the charges to be dropped.

In the new charge sheet, the Attorney General dropped the alleged offenses touching on the image and prestige of the President and one on Reciprocity.

The charges which the AG is now preferring on the journalist refer to Articles 269 and 328 of the Penal Code which address offenses relating to bringing into disrepute public institutions including the judiciary. It was not clear how this latter charge came up.

Defence lawyer Dahir Arab warned the case was now taking a different turn. “The new charges preferred by the AG are alien to us. The revised charge sheet points to a revolving nature of the case,” said Arab. “We have maintained there is no concrete against Gurbiye and all charges must be dropped forthwith.”

The case which began in April has taken twists and turns in what rights activists locally and internationally and lawmakers have termed a political ploy.

The journalist was arrested in April and detained for four days before being granted an indefinite bail period which lapsed last week.

In the second appearance last week, the court further adjourned the case indefinitely until Sunday when it ordered its resumption.

Villa Somalia has distanced itself from the case and went ahead to drop the charges touching on President Mohamed Farmaajo.

However sources privy to the matter have intimated to Goobjoog News the case is still being driven from the background by the Office of the President with the intent of settling political scores.

Though President Farmaajo pledged in May to cease application of draconian laws against journalists, the continued prosecution of Gurbiye runs counter to the President’s promise.

The case continues tomorrow.

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