ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A nearly 8-year legal battle is coming to an end to hold the former prime minister of Somalia accountable for alleged killings and war crimes in the final years of a dictatorship.
Mohamed Ali Samantar was a defense minister and prime minister in Somalia in the 1970s and 1980s under dictator Siad Barre. For more than a decade now he has lived quietly in Fairfax.
Samantar was scheduled to go on trial Thursday in federal court in Alexandria. But as the trial was to begin, Samantar said he would not contest the allegations and accepted a default judgment against him.
Samantar said that while he accepts legal liability, he admits no wrongdoing.
A judge will hear testimony from victims Thursday afternoon to decide on any monetary damages.