Four government officials sentenced in Somalia for stealing COVID-19 funds

An Algerian prosecutor is seeking a year's prison sentence for a former state TV journalist who in 2011 co-founded an opposition group./Getty Images

Four government officials were sentenced by a Somali court on Monday for taking part in stealing public funds meant for the COVID-19 emergency response.

The four were found guilty by the Banadir Regional Court following a case that drew public scrutiny in the use of the funds.

The case came forward just a month after Somalia reported its first case of COVID-19  in April.

The Ministry of Health at the time revealed that several officials were under investigation for diverting public funds.

Between $42,000 and $45,000 had been spent in unclear circumstances, the ministry said in April, however, court documents released on Monday did not show how much each of them stole.

The officials were sentenced to different terms and given varying fines for committing corrupt acts.