Muscat: Oman’s Public Prosecution (OPP) saw a drop in the number of cases registered, but murder cases increased in 2016, compared with 2015.
During a press conference held at the Public Prosecution Complex, Dr. Ahmed Al Shukeili, assistant to the Public Prosecutor and manager of the office of the Public Prosecutor said that the number of murder cases had increased in Oman last year, compared with 2015.
According to Public Prosecution data, 27 murder cases were referred to the public prosecution last year, up from 23 in 2015.
“19 of the cases were intentional murder, while four were connected to a misdemeanour case.
“Two cases were premeditated murders and the remaining two were murders caused by beating,” said Al Shukeili.
In 2016, the public prosecution registered 37,972 cases, which reflects a 7.5 per cent drop from 41,072 cases in 2015.
Misdemeanour cases accounted for 90.9 per cent of the total received by the public prosecution, showing an 8.8 per cent drop to 34,065, from 37,332 in 2015. Criminal cases registered were up 6.8 per cent to 3,482 in 2015, compared with 3,260 in 2015.
Cases of appeal in 2016 were recorded at 5,737, slipping 1 per cent from 5,796 in 2015.
When asked about the time it takes for the court to complete a case, Mohammad Al Yahyai, director general of the Directorate General of Public Prosecution for Muscat Governorate said, “Every case differs from the other. I don’t want to brag about Oman, but compared to other countries, I believe that Oman solves cases quite quickly.”
He added that currently only 287 cases are still under investigation from 2016. 38,002 people were accused of committing crimes in 2016, which indicates a 16 per cent drop from 45,246 in 2015, where 92 per cent of those charged were males.
Juveniles accounted for 3 per cent of the total accused, with 1,090 on record, which is a 102 per cent drop, compared with 2015.
“There was a drop in juvenile cases and we all know that crime doesn’t have an age, time or place; however, there is a specific law for children, which is applicable under the Child Protection Law that protects the juvenile, whether the child committed the crime or was the victim of a crime,” said Al Shukeili. 40 per cent of the total accused were expatriates, where 15,114 were registered in 2016, while Omanis made up for the remaining 22,888.
Stealing made it to the top of the list of the ten-most common crimes dealt with by the public prosecution with 8,708 cases, followed by bounced cheque cases pegged at 5,470, while drug offenses came in third at 2,702.
Insults to dignity cases secured the fourth position with 2,260 cases registered, followed by consumer protection cases at 1,936 and traffic accidents at 1,726. 1,557 cases regarding labour law crimes were registered, followed by minor harm cases at 1,383. Vandalism and illegal entry into the Sultanate secured the ninth and tenth positions, with 1,382 and 1,283 cases, respectively.