The investment department fires in the state of the Al-Gezirahave raised many questions after their reoccurrences, with their lack of motive, and the failure to apprehend a suspect who was detected by a surveillance camera. Why is the perpetrator still unknown and what is the reason for the current imprisonment of the office employees?
Altaghyeer – Amal Muhammad Al-Hassan
A massive fire in the the Investment Promotion Department’s building – an affiliate of the Ministry of Finance in the state of Gezira – caused heavy losses to documents, computers and office furniture.
The fire, which started late night on the fourth of April, was not the first of its kind.
It was preceded by a fire with limited damage that affected the Follow-Up Office and part of the Director General’s officeprevious January.
Frequent fires destroyed paper and electronic documents of the Al-Gezira Investment Department
Against what is “Known”
Previous statements by the Director of the Investment Promotion Department confirmed that surveillance cameras had caught the culprit in the first fire.
This was confirmed by the rapporteur of the Empowerment Removal Committee in the State of Al-Jazirah, Jamal Muhammad Nour, to “Altaghyeer”. Nevertheless, no suspect was arrested.
“Nothing was done in the first report, and now it has been added to the second report”, said Nour regarding no previous arrests being carried out.
The suspects have no case files, no charges have yet been brought against them, and they are all in the custody of the Investigations of the State of Al-Gezirah.
One of them was released on bail Tuesday evening – according to his lawyer, Yasser Al-Rayeh.
The rapporteur however, denied what Al-Rayeh had statedregarding no reports being made and confirmed that the investment commissioner was the one who opened a complaint against them.
“Surveillance cameras detected the culprit in the first fire and he was not arrested”
No Preliminary Evidence
Lawyer Yasser Al-Rayeh had submitted a request to the prosecutor to release his client, “H. H”, on bail, Sunday April 25th, at a time when the prosecution had not decided – until the moment the report was published – on lawyer Ahmed Fateh al-Rahman’s plead, who represents« 9 »of the detainees.
Fateh Al-Rahman had appealed his request to the attorney on the first Tuesday (April 27).
According to him; His plea included the removal of procedures against detainees and their immediate release, and indicated that the procedures were not based on a legal basis.
Fath al-Rahman told “Altaghyeer” that all the detainees are employees of the Investment or Finance Promotion Department.
He emphasized the lack of criminal intent and bad faith by virtue of their positions.
“Can a job lead to an accusation?”, he added.
The detainees’ lawyer confirmed that all detained employees worked in lower positions, and that they received instructions issued by their managers.
He said, “When any accused is arrested, there must be preliminary evidence, which (over here) is unavailable.”
The defense attorney added to “Altaghyeer” that the judicial authorities can interrogate them and investigate them when they are released.
At the same time, he affirmed that continuing detention without charge would create a difficult situation to rectify.
Police detectives have detained “16” of the department’s employees.
The investment building, which is located on the second floor of the Ministry of Finance building in Wad Medani, has now become abandoned after most offices, furniture, documents and even computers were consumed by fire.
The employees working in it were distributed among the various offices of the Ministry of Finance.
The second fire was severely damaging in contrast to the first fire.
Investment Commissioner, Jamal Al-Imam, confirmed on Tuesday, 5th of last January in press statements, that all documents that were damaged are still present in the archives!
“As if it was an invitation to start the second fire!”, one employee commented.
The employee – who prefers to withhold her name – expressed her grief at her colleagues’ detention.
She emphasized that the fire was an act no employee who had worked on those files would commit, indicating that they(detainees) had been in administration for long years.
The employee noted that she and the rest of her female colleagues had undergone investigations, and that they stayed for long hours inside the Investigation Department before the legal advisor intervened.
She, along with the rest of her coworkers, hired a lawyer to defend their colleagues, who said that most of them work asinspectors in different localities, with no managerial workersamong them.
However, rapporteur Jamal Muhammad Noor confirmed to “Altaghyeer” that the state investment commissioner had been arrested, and said that the first fire report was included with the second one.
Mr. Noor declined to provide any additional information, and indicated that the end of the investigation was approaching.
For his part, a member of the Empowerment Removal Committee, Adel Abbas, emphasized that the deliberate fires are nothing but evidence that the committee “has proved effective.”
Member of the Empowerment Removal Committee: The frequent fires are evidence the committee’s “has proved effective”
“I found him collapsed,” the brother of one of the detainees described his brother’s condition after he was able, with great difficulty, to visit him inside the hold-up.
The detainee’s brother – who has worked since 2000 in the commission – told “Altaghyeer” that all the questions that were directed to his brother were technical, mostly concerning the nature of his work.
The detainee complained – according to his brother – that the “mattresses” they used to sleep on had been taken away, and that they had been left to sleep on tiles in an environment unfit for life during the month of Ramadan.
According to legal expert, Dr. Nabil Adeeb, this treatment is considered a violation of the law that provides for the treatment of the arrested in a manner that preserves human dignity, and it is not permissible to harm them physically or mentally –
He added that this treatment also imprints the Sudanese law writer with negligence for failing to include the text informing the accused of his/her rights.
Dr. Nabil affirmed that the detainee had a right to inform his family and contact a lawyer, with the right to meet with the prosecutor and the judge as well.
Regarding the defendants remaining for more than two weeks inside hold-up without evidence, the legal expert confirmed that it is permissible to arrest the accused and renew their detention for a period of “3” days from prosecution.
After that, it is permissible to extend for a week, then another week by decree from the judge.
In the same context, Adeeb explained that the extension of the detention period must take place in the presence of the accused before the judge, who must hear him before issuing his decision.
Adeeb indicated that the defendants’ detention signifies that they will not be able tamper with evidence, be it material evidence or a witness testimony that can be changed.