ENA (EPRDF News Agency)
The Third Criminal Bench of the Federal High Court ordered on Wednesday 15 of the 16 suspects, who are charged with criminal offences under the ‘Tesfahun Chemeda Gurmessa et. al Case’, to defend themselves against the alleged criminal acts, the Ministry of Justice disclosed.
Photo: Ethiopian Totalitarina Ruler Meles Zenawi
The suspects, who were members of the self-styled terrorist group called ‘Oromo Liberation Front’, were allegedly charged to have been active participants or collaborators in recruiting and organizing people for ‘OLF Cells’ in clandestine manner, the statement of the communication section of the ministry told ENA on Wednesday.
The statement also said the Federal Prosecutor has filed nine-point criminal offences against the suspects for allegedly plotting against the Federal Government of Ethiopia directly and indirectly by propagating anti unity propaganda against the federal system and for trying to persuade the Oromia Regional State, one of the members of the federation, to abandon the federal system.
The federal prosecutor has already presented human and written evidences as well as material exhibits to show the Bench that the suspects indeed committed the stated criminal offences since the suspects, including the 7th suspect namely Bekele Jirata, plead the court not guilty earlier.
Hence, it said, the Bench ordered 15 of the 16 suspects on Wednesday to defend themselves against the filed criminal acts, and scheduled to hear defenses between 31 Oct 2009 and 11 Dec. 2009.
Meanwhile, It said, the Bench passed not guilty verdict for the 16th suspect, who goes by the name Bogale Mossissa Legesse, since the evidences filed against the individual were found to be insubstantial.