Wednesday, May 16, 2012
RICHMOND, Va. (WTW) — The former prime minister of Somalia is asking a federal appeals court in Richmond to rule that he can't be sued over alleged war crimes.
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Court of Appeals hears arguments in Mohamed Ali Samantar's case Wednesday.
Samantar was a top official in dictator Siad Barre's regime, serving throughout the 1980s as vice president, defense minister and prime minister. He left Somalia after the regime's collapse in 1991 and eventually settled in Fairfax County. In 2004, he was sued by several Somalis who claimed they suffered brutal repression, including torture and mass killings, under the regime.
Samantar has accepted legal liability but denies wrongdoing. He also continues to insist that as a former foreign government official, he was immune from being sued.