Former Head of Ethiopian Intelligence Charged in Absentia

Former Head of Ethiopian Intelligence Charged in Absentia

By Reuters

ADDIS ABABA — (nytimes)—-The former head of Ethiopia’s intelligence service was charged in absentia on Tuesday with misuse of power and corruption, part of an ongoing crackdown by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government on senior security officials suspected of human rights abuses.

Details of the two charges against Getachew Asefa, former head of the National Intelligence and Security Service, and 25 other defendants ran to 106 pages.

Getachew is accused of torture, causing deaths during interrogations and detaining members of opposition groups – at a time when they were labeled terrorist groups and banned under the previous government.

Four of those charged, including Getachew, are missing; the charge sheet says they are hiding in the Tigray region. The rest are in custody.

The men have not yet entered a plea.

After taking office a year ago, Abiy promised to clean up state-owned firms and the military. Dozens of officials who served under the previous government have been arrested and charged with abuse of office and corruption.

Last month Ethiopian authorities arrested 59 government officials on suspicion of corruption and economic sabotage and 60 were arrested in November, including the former head of military-industrial conglomerate METEC.

Former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, from the minority Tigrayan ethnic group, was forced to step down last year after three years of sporadic, deadly protests. Abiy is from the same ruling coalition, but comes from the larger Oromo ethnic group, which was at the forefront of the protests.

Ethiopia, a country of more than 100 million people, is Africa’s fastest-growing economy but it continues to be rocked by sporadic, deadly ethnic violence. There are nearly 3.2 million people internally displaced, according to the United Nations.

1 Comment

  1. So far Meaza Ashenafi proved that she is the wrong person to lead the Ethiopian Justice System. Just like her predecessor She also is too slow to act, she also gives the criminals too much time to cover their tracks. Her predecessor is as guilty as Getachew Assefa or any other top TPLF officials but he is not charged yet.

    Meaza Ashenafi should go back to law school and learn about genocide laws , crime against humanity laws , ethnic cleansing Laws , war crimes laws and parliament monopolizing laws before she rules the Ethiopian justice system.

    The timing of issuing the two warrants for Getachew Assefa are too late. Timing of both the first and the second charging of Getachew Assefa is questionable. Noone knows why Getechew Assefa was not officially charged until it was too late .For the longest Noone even knew if there was ever a warrant out for Getachew’s arrest . Addis Ababa youth were arrested for chewing khat within first few months when team Lemma got to power but Getachew Assefa had no warrant for his arrest out until now. Getachew Assefa Got Egyptian passport because Meaza didn’t charge him until recently giving him enough time to go to Egypt.

    To put our thrust on the justice system or to put our thrust on the government, the people of Ethiopia need to freely elect their leaders. EPRDF is going through a fake inner struggle TPLF (Getachew) verses (Abiy) team Lemma Just to postpone election 2020. EPRDF is the cancer for the justice system of Ethiopia.

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