Tuesday 18th Jun 2024
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President Solih

Drug Trafficker Serving 78-Year Sentence Freed by President Solih Ahead of Elections

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has released a young man sentenced to 78 years for drug trafficking and cannabis use. The decision comes just days before the nation's elections, leading some to allege political motivations behind the release.
Munthasar Yusuf, who was 26 at the time of his sentencing in 2021 by the Naifaru magistrate's court, had pled guilty to all charges. Despite not filing an appeal in the High Court, he has now found himself a free man, currently residing in L. Naifaru.
Yusuf is not the only individual receiving such an unexpected pardon. On the eve of Independence Day, President Ibrahim used the Remission and Remission of Sentence Act to release a total of 25 prisoners, including those convicted of heinous crimes like child trafficking, rape, and murder. Many of these convicts were sentenced during President Ibrahim's tenure.
The decision has stirred significant public debate. Detractors claim that the pardons were politically motivated, aiming to garner votes from the families of those released. These allegations have gained traction especially given the upcoming presidential elections.
An anonymous official from the President's Office shed light on the matter, explaining that while many of these crimes are legally unpardonable, the administration found a way around the constraints. "Most people cannot be pardoned under the law. That's why the way this is done is that their sentences are being commuted," he said. As an example, some sentences were reduced from 25 years to a mere 10 days.
The decision to release individuals, especially those convicted of grave offenses, has raised safety concerns among the public. It remains to be seen how this move will impact President Ibrahim's standing in the forthcoming elections.