A regional court in Somali capital Mogadishu on Monday sentenced four senior Health Ministry officials for up to 18 years in prison over corruption and theft of public money.
The convicted officials were in custody for over three months.
Abdullahi Hashi Ali, director general of the health ministry, has been sentenced to nine years in prison with a $2,366 fine.
Mohamud Bule Mohamud, director administration and finance department, was given an 18-year jail term, whereas head of accounting Mahdi Abshir, and head of Malaria and HIV/AIDs Bashir Abdi were imprisoned for 12 and three years, respectively.
“We have listened to this case at least 14 times, and these officials were found guilty of corruption and public money theft,” the court said.
Meanwhile, five ministry officials were released after being found not guilty.
Somali security forces arrested the officials in April on charges of embezzling official funds donated to curb the coronavirus outbreak, among others.
The Horn African country of 15 million people has so far confirmed 3,269 virus cases, including 93 deaths and 2,396 recoveries, according to US’ Johns Hopkins University.