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13 June 2014, 16:12
The father of a man murdered in a "reckless and dangerous'' shooting said he is relieved to know his son's killers have been brought to justice as they were jailed for life.
Mohammed Abdi, 25, was shot dead during a confrontation in a quiet neighbourhood in the Willowbrae area of Edinburgh last year.
Cadil Huseen, 23, Mohamud Mohamud, 30, and Hussein Mohamed Ali, 26, earlier pleaded guilty to the murder and were handed life sentences today.
In the early hours of the morning on May 26 2013, the three men were in a car travelling from Glasgow to Edinburgh when they started pursuing a Ford Focus containing the victim and three other men.
The cars stopped and the Focus was repeatedly shot at with a sub-machine gun and a revolver, causing fatal injuries to Mr Abdi.
Ali fled to Kenya the next day but returned to the UK voluntarily after extradition proceedings began.
The case went to trial but all three men admitted the murder on the sixteenth day of evidence.
They were told they must each serve at least 25 years before applying for parole.
Passing sentence at the High Court in Glasgow, Judge Lord Turnbull said they were involved in a "well-organised, large-scale and highly-profitable drug supply network'' in the capital and were living a "wholly corrupt lifestyle''.
"The extent to which this lifestyle had an utterly corrupting effect is clear from the evidence of the escalating conflict between your group and the rival group of drug dealers of which Mohammed Abdi was part,'' Lord Turnbull said.
"It is clear that in order to try and protect and maximise your own illicit business you were prepared to engage in violence of an extreme nature.
"The culmination of this exchange of violence began on the night of May 25 last year.
"It is clear that a large group of your gang members and associates gathered together with the explicit intention of finding and attacking Mohammed Abdi and the other members of his group, in order to eliminate the competition which they had come to offer.''
Omar Abdi, the victim's father, said: "Nothing will bring my son back but I am relieved to know that the persons who committed this terrible crime will no longer be able to hurt anyone again, and I hope no other family will suffer as we have.
"I would like to thank wholeheartedly the various communities across Edinburgh who were affected by this tragic death and who went on to provide vital support to the police investigation.
"I was heartened when I saw the number of cards and flowers that were laid where my son died and provided me with comfort that he had been a friend to a number of people who shared in my grief.''
He thanked police and prosecutors for bringing the men to justice.
Detective Chief Superintendent Gary Flannigan said specialist officers teamed up right across Scotland with authorities from other countries during the investigation.
He said: "Detectives were able to combine CCTV and telecoms information from throughout the United Kingdom while scene examiners and scientists did fantastic work deconstructing the vehicles involved in the shooting and recovering vital evidence.
"The public, too, played a crucial part in the case that led to today's sentencing.
"Local residents who initially stopped to help at what they thought was a road traffic accident were not deterred even when the full nature of the incident unfolded and we are grateful for their invaluable assistance.''
Speaking after sentencing, John Dunn, procurator fiscal for the east of Scotland, said: "There can be few crimes quite as reckless and dangerous as the repeated discharge of a firearm in a populous area.
"Mohamud, Huseen and Ali left one man dead and put the lives of those living nearby at extremely high risk.''