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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 October 2005, 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK
Sweden frees Somali police chief
Crowds protest in Mogadishu about the arrest of Col Abdi Qeybdid in Sweden
Thousands of Somalis protested at Col Qeybdid's arrest
A Somali colonel has been released from custody in Sweden due to insufficient evidence linking him to genocide, reports the AP news agency.

Col Abdi Qeybdid was arrested after being accused of involvement in attacks on US forces in the 1990s.

Under Swedish law, its courts can try suspects for genocide committed abroad.

Col Qeybdid has been appointed as Somalia's police chief by the faction of the split government based in the capital, Mogadishu.

But President Abdullahi Yusuf, based in the town of Jowhar 90km north of Mogadishu, has appointed Ali Madobeh, as its chief of police.

Video

"I am free," Col Qeybdid was quoted as saying by Swedish news agency TT as he left the court building.

The court was shown a video allegedly showing him involved in the interrogation and execution of two young men in 1991.

His lawyer Thomas Olsson said the video had been heavily edited and was "completely meaningless".

On Sunday, thousands of people demonstrated in Mogadishu to protest at his arrest. The Mogadishu faction accuse their opponents in Jowhar of being behind the arrest.

Col Qeybdid was a commander of troops loyal to the late warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed, who fought US American peacekeepers in Mogadishu in the early 1990s.

Somalia has been without a functioning national government for 14 years and a transitional parliament and government, sworn in last year, has failed to end the anarchy.


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