A MAN who was part of a gang who murdered a drug rival with a machine gun was yesterday sentenced to life imprisonment.
At the High Court in Glasgow 29-year-old Mohammed Ahmed, who is also known as Jamal Saeed, was convicted of killing Mohamed Abdi at Duddingston Road West, on May 26, 2013, while acting with others.
Judge John Morris QC, ordered Ahmed to serve at least 25 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
He told Ahmed: “The jury convicted you of a particularly brutal murder by using a machine gun and gunning down a young man in an otherwise quiet suburb of our capital.
“The use of lethal firearms will not be tolerated on our streets.”
Three other men, Mohamud Mohamud, 30, Cadil Huseen, 23, and Hussein Ali, 26, are already serving life sentences for the murder and will spend a minimum of 25 years each behind bars.
Judge Morris told Ahmed: “I see no reason to discriminate between you and the others who pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 25 years each.”
As he was led away to begin his sentence Ahmed gave a thumbs-up to members of his family, who were sitting in the public benches.
Defence advocate Andrew Murphy said that his client still insisted he is innocent.
Mr Murphy handed Judge Morris a letter from Ahmed, saying: “It gives some of his feelings about the trial, some good, some bad.”
The court heard that Ahmed almost got away with murder. He fled the scene and flew to Somalia, where he was born, just days after the street shooting. But, unbeknownst to him, he left his wallet behind at the murder scene. A bank card belonging to him was also found in the roof lining of the Volkwagen Sharan driven by the killers.
The court heard that the killers and the victim were drug rivals and had a falling out.
Iain McSporran, prosecuting, said: “The Crown’s position is that there appears to have been an organised crime group consisting largely of Somalian males with London connections, operating in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The gang split into two rival factions shortly before the murder. Two days before the fatal shooting a message was sent saying: “The guns are coming out.”
On May 26, 2013 the Sharan with the killers on board chased the Ford Focus containing Mr Abdi and his associates through the streets of Edinburgh.
The court heard that five shots were discharged from the machine gun before it jammed. Three of them hit Abdi. The fatal shot pierced his chest.
The Crown’s position was that it was not possible to say who fired the fatal shot.
Victim Mr Abdi and his companions were armed only with baseball bats. In evidence Ahmed denied fleeing to Somalia just days after the murder.
He said his flight there via Dubai was booked weeks before to give him a break from his girlfriend, whom he believed was cheating on him. His wallet containing bank cards and a card for Gala casinos was found close to the scene where Mr Abdi was machine gunned to death.