Omot Agewa et.al are adjourned for the 8th times, to Hear Prosecutor Witnesses- June 10 Hearings

Short Summary of the adjournments   

  • On the first time court ordered prosecutor to bring witnesses for March 1, 2016
  • On March 1, 20016 seven prosecutor witnesses confirmed to attend the hearing through their consent signature but Ato Aserat was the only one who happened to attend. Court ordered police to arrest the remaining witness and present them to the court for the next hearing.
  • Court failed to hear prosecutor witness on March 14, 2016 because Presiding judge was absent for health reasons. Again the court adjured for March 15, 2016.
  • March 15, 2016 court heard prosecutor’s witness. Federal prosecutor applied to court to issue an arrest warrant for witness that were summoned but failed to appear in the court. Court again ordered the arrest of the prosecutor witness and adjourned for April 18, 2016.
  • On April 18, 2016 federal high court Lideta 19th criminal bench judges were in training  for fifteen days and Omot Agewa et.al was given another adjournment through Kilinto Detention Center  for June 8, 2016, without their presence to the bench.
  • June 8, 2016 though defendants were at the court room they were told by the judge that “the appointement was given to them by mistake” once again the case was adjured for June 10, 2016.
  • On June 10, 2016 federal high court Lideta 19th criminal bench judges were presiding in the morning but were not able to hear prosecutor witness against Omot Agwa et. al because of full schedule. The only prosecutor witness who made it to the court Asrat Tesfaye was told to come back in the afternoon.

On the afternoon though defendants, prosecutor and the judges were present in the court the only prosecutor witness Asrat Tesefaye did not come back to the bench.

Defense lawyer Amha Mekonen reminded the court that it has been more than four months since the court ordered prosecutor to present witnesses and if prosecutor have an aim to serve justice, has also the responsibility to bring witness on time. Since prosecutor failed to do so, he asked the court to give verdict based on the earlier witnesses.

Middle judge Tarekegn Amare explained that witnesses were present on April 18, 2016 and they could not testify because of the mistaken appointment date of the court. The judge also ordered police to arrest Asrat Tesfaye and bring him on July 19, 2016. Court also calls additional witness priest Shibru Lijera and Dereje Arage.

As the bench has many cases to see on July 19th judge Tarekegn gave an alternative adjournment for the defendants on August 4, 2016. On the other side once again third defendant Jemal Omar petitioned his grievance to the court regarding this health care request denied by the detention center. He told the court that, even if he has been given medical appointment while at the Federal Crime Investigation Center (Maekelawi) for September 2015, the administration of Kilinto detention center couldn’t allow him to follow up his medical care. The defendant said he has asked the administration many times but no one allowed him to visit health facility. Judge Tarekegn Amare promised court order will be given to the detention center to explain the matter to the court.

Following their trial since September 4, 2015 at the Federal high court Lideta 19th criminal bench, Omot Agwa et.al spent one year and three month in detention.

1st defendant Omot Agwa
1st defendant Omot Agwa
2nd defendant Ashine Astin
2nd defendant Ashine Astin

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