Somalia executes 3 Al-Shabab members over 2017 hotel attack

Somali security officers secure the scene of a suicide car bomb explosion, at the gate of Naso Hablod Two Hotel in Hamarweyne district of Mogadishu, Somalia October 28, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 10 July 2019

Somalia executes 3 Al-Shabab members over 2017 hotel attack

  • "They were also among the attackers in the bombing of the Nasahablod Two Hotel"

MOGADISHU: Somalia executed three men on Wednesday convicted of participating in the bombing of a Mogadishu hotel that killed 18 people in 2017 as members of the insurgent group Al-Shabab, the state-run news agency said.
“They were accused of being Al-Shabab members. They were also among the attackers in the bombing of the Nasahablod Two Hotel, in which 18 people died and 47 others were injured,” Somalia’s state news agency said on its website.
They were executed by gunshot.
Al Shabab, an Islamist militant group which is trying to topple Somalia’s central government, was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been driven from most of its other strongholds.
It remains a threat, with fighters frequently carrying out bombings in Somalia and neighboring Kenya, whose troops form part of the African Union-mandated peacekeeping force that helps defend the Somali government.


Sweden discontinues Assange rape investigation

Updated 19 November 2019

Sweden discontinues Assange rape investigation

  • The case was being dropped because “the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question.”

STOCKHOLM: Sweden on Tuesday dropped its investigation into an alleged rape by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is currently in prison in Britain.
Assange, who is battling extradition to the United States which accuses him of publishing secret documents related to his WikiLeaks work, has been facing potential charges in Sweden since 2010. The 48-year-old has denied all allegations against him.
Prosecutor Eve-Marie Persson said the case was being dropped because “the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question.”
She said the alleged victim, who accused Assange of raping her in 2010, “submitted a credible and reliable version of events.”
“Her statements have been coherent, extensive and detailed,” Persson said. 
The decision follows a ruling in June by a Swedish court that Assange should not be detained. Two months earlier, Assange was evicted from the Ecuador Embassy in London where he had been holed up since 2012. He was immediately arrested and is currently serving a 50-week sentence in Britain for jumping bail in 2012.
Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief, said in a tweet that the focus should now move onto the “threat” that Assange has been “warning about for years: the belligerent prosecution of the United States and the threat it poses to the First Amendment.”
Assange has been battling potential charges in Sweden since August 2010, when an investigation began after two women accused Assange of sexual offenses during a visit to Stockholm. Sweden asked Britain to extradite Assange for questioning, and in June 2012 he sought refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid arrest. That was granted two months later.
After that, the investigation stalled. Swedish prosecutors dropped cases of alleged sexual misconduct when the statute of limitations ran out in 2015, leaving only the rape allegation.
While denying the sexual misconduct allegations in Sweden, he sought asylum for protection from possible extradition to the US on charges.
Ecuador withdrew Assange’s asylum status in April 2019. Assange was arrested by British police and sentenced in May to 50 weeks in prison for jumping bail in 2012. He remains in prison after authorities ruled he was a flight risk and faces an extradition hearing next year to the US to face spying charges