Berhane Mogese, the lawyer who was accused of trying to overthrow the government through unconstitutional means, was released by court today after a year of detention. Berhane was arrested in March 2006. (See My first article on this blog entitled State Terrorism As A way Of Life)
The court decided that the evidence presented by the public prosecutor against him did not prove that he committed the crime. The judges reduced the charge to illegal possession of weapons and released the defendant against a bail of five thousand birr. The prosecutor produced "seditious" articles printed from the internet and the case files related to the CUD prisoners in Kaliti. The court
argued that neither the internet articles nor the files indicated his intention to commit the crime as charged by the prosecutor. "The papers found in his possession are his client's, not his," the court said. Berhane Mogesse was the attorney for Hailu Shawel, Kinijit's chairman.
Three other people accused of the same crime were acquitted and thirteen others including Tadios Tantu and Shaleka Argaw, both members of CUD, were told to defend themselves.
Shimeles Kemal, the prosecutor in charge of the trial of CUD leaders, has left to Ottawa in a government mission. According to sources, he is scheduled to return to Addis Ababa just before the trial of the leaders resume on February 19. He is accompanied by the State Minister of Justice, Dr. Hashim Mohammed. Read Shimeles kemal's role in the witch hunt of democracy activists in Ethiopia here........................
Paul Vallely wrote in the independent what one might only describe as "A-why-was-it-written-article". I was neither a news nor a news analysis. It doesn't have characters of a feature article or a commentary. It seems one of Meles Zenawi's best friends has enough of the media's bashing of the Prime Minister and decided for a call to arms in defense of his friend. Paul Vallely co-wrote the report of the now defunct Commission for Africa with Meles Zenawi. It was a nice, comprehensive report... but among the first breakers of the report's recommendations was Meles himself.
Vallely's friendship with Meles dates back to the 1980s. Yet for a man who has advocated justice for the third world all his life, it is morally repugnant to defend a murderer and torturer whether he is a friend or not. The article was more than a case of bad Samaritanism Mr Vallely...It was advocacy to the devil.