KHARTOUM – March 7, 2023
The Central Khartoum Criminal Court dismissed the charges against eight young men accused of killing intelligence officer Mirghani El Jeili yesterday due to ‘gross errors and irregularities’. They were released immediately, after having been imprisoned for months.
Cheers erupted inside and around the courtroom after the verdict was read out. Supporters, who gathered in front of the court building that lies within the Institute of Judicial Sciences since the early morning, carried the released detainees on their shoulders in celebration.
The court said that the investigation procedures contained gross errors and irregularities.
During the court sessions, which began in October last year, the court heard 17 people accused of killing or being an accomplice in the killing of intelligence officer Mirghani El Jeili in March last year. The prosecution detained 25 more people during the handling of the case before dismissing charges against 17 of them.
Charges were upheld against eight activists, and they stood trial in court where they have now been acquitted.
The released suspects are Hossam El Sayad, Gasem Haseeb, Sowereldahab Abulazayem, Musab Ahmed Mohamed ‘Sango’, Hamza Mahjoub, Khaled Mamoun, Sharafeldin Abulmajod, and Michael Deng.
‘Fabricated and malicious’
Lawyer Igbal Ahmed, a member of the defence team for suspect Hossam El Sayad, told Radio Dabanga that the judge dismissed the charges against the defendants for lack of sufficient evidence and described the cases as “fabricated and malicious”.
Defence lawyer Rana Abdelghaffar also told Radio Dabanga also that “the charges against active revolutionaries were fabricated to keep them away from the revolutionary movement”.
‘The charges against active revolutionaries were fabricated to keep them away from the revolutionary movement’ – Rana Abdelghaffar
She explained out that one of the witnesses was forced to give a false statement under torture and detention.
Lawyers said that the defendants were subjected to moral, psychological, and physical abuse and indicated that they could file complaints against the investigators who fabricated the charges.
Revolution as peace
Lawyer Nasreldin Yousef said that the acquittal of Hossam El Sayad and his companions can be considered “a victory for the revolution and its peace”.
He told Radio Dabanga that the public prosecution is targeting the revolution and attempts to stigmatise the revolution as ‘violent’ and its activists as ‘enemies of the peace’.
“The court’s decision confirms the peacefulness of the revolution and deals a fatal blow to the promoters of its ‘non-peacefulness’.”
He expressed his regret that the activists spent a long period in prison without any justification.
‘We were tortured and faced fabricated charges of crimes like theft, murder, and rape because of our influence on the street’ – Gasem Haseeb
Released Gasem Haseeb told Radio Dabanga that the long period of detention was painful. “We were tortured and faced fabricated charges of crimes like theft, murder, and rape because of our influence on the street.”
Case of Brig Bereima
Fellow activist Sharafeldin added that “we are waiting for the release of Tupac and his companions so that our joy will be complete”.
Mohamed Adam (better known by his nickname Tupac) and three other young men are currently in court on a similar charge of killing police Brigadier Ali Bereima, but police reports showed inconsistencies and the detainees were subject to severe torture and mistreatment whilst in prison.
The court in Khartoum heard Prosecutor Mohamed Zein on the case on Sunday. Waleed Ezeldin, defence lawyer for Musab El Shareef, one of the four young demonstrators accused of the murder, said the charges against El Shareef were read and that El Shareef will testify next Sunday.