Addis Ababa – Following the denial of the four suspects in the case of Jawar Mohammed; Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba, Hamza Adane and Dejene Tafa to appear in court for the third time, the Federal High Court has decided Lideta Branch, First Constitutional and Anti-Terrorism Bench to resume their hearing to decide conducting the witness hearing of the prosecutor in theory absent.
At the last hearing, the court ordered the prison administration to bring the four suspects to today’s hearing. The suspects mentioned in a letter sent through their lawyers the summary of detention of detainees, mistreatment of detainees in detention and extrajudicial killings in various parts of the country and stated that they do not want to attend the hearing till Justice is administered. The hearing that was set to decide on the holding of witness hearings against the suspects was scheduled for May, the four suspects have not appeared at subsequent hearings since May 26, 2021. The court dismissed the complaints of the suspects by stating that such abuses in the courts were not visible at this hearing.
The court cited Article 20 of the Ethiopian Constitution and stated that the four suspects who refused to appear at the hearing were considered to have voluntarily denied their rights to defend themselves and therefore decided to hold the hearing in their absence.
The court rejected the prosecutor’s request to have forced the suspects to attend the hearing and gave an alternative appointment to August 6, 2021. AS