Ethiopia's dictator Meles Zenawi would release CUD leaders who had been held at Kaliti prison for the last thirteen months if they agreed to quit politics. According to prison sources, Meles sent the message to the prisoners through Professor Ephrem Isaac. The prominent linguist and historian met the prisoners at least twice this week and heard a firm rejection from some of the top leaders.
On Monday, the Chief prosecutor in the treason trial, Shimeles Kemal, dropped 289 witnesses whom he previously said would testify against the leaders of Ethiopia's biggest political party and asked the court to let him bring up fifteen new ones. Trial observers said that with the current speed, the prosecutor would wrap up the case in a few weeks.
With an all out war with Somalia looming in the horizon and opposition against his leadership from the inside and outside intensifying, there are speculations that Meles will release the leaders in Kaliti although the conditions he set in his message to Kaliti which he sent through Professor Ephrem Isaac are unacceptable to the prisoners.
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