After judge Woldemichael Meshesha leaked the report of the Inquiry committee set up by parliament and a six hours video which showed when the members of the inquiry debate and cast their votes last Wednesday, the government scrambled to issue a tonned down version of the report to parliament today. Woldemichael's report which was confirmed by the chairperson of the inquiry committee, Frehiwot Samuel, accused government of massacring demonstrators. The tonned down version presented to parliament stated the same number of people dead and injured as the leaked report but blamed the killing on the lack of democratic culture.
Meanwhile in the court, which is hearing the public prosecutor's case against CUD leaders, social justice advocates and journalists, the prosecutor presented eight witnesses. One of them testified that she was a member of AEUP and was present in one meeting when the leaders of the party were inciting people for a struggle against the government. When she was asked to name some members of AEUP by the judge, she started with Dr. Birhanu Nega. The packed court cascaded into laughter. Birhanu Nega was a founder of keste Demena, one of the other three parties that formed a coalition with AEUP to establish the CUD. The same witness also said the abbreviation UEDP stood for Ethiopian Democratic movement.
There was more drama to come. Another witness who claimed to be a businessman testified that he was present when Eng. Gizachew Shiferaw's house was searched by the police. He was asked where he worked and he answered that his shop was infront of the Gizachew's house.
Judge: Are you sure you worked in front of the defendant's house
When Engineer Gizachew who was not defending himself joked that the compound in front of his house belonged to Bole Secondary School, the confused witness said he didn't mean that he worked in front of the house but in a small shop a few blocks from the house.
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