Imprisoned journalist Eskinder Nega was in court to testify for activist Yonatan
One of the defense witnesses for human rights activist and Semayawi Party former public relations head Yonatan Tesfaye, Dr. Merera Gudina, who recently has been arrested for testifying human rights situations in Ethiopia at the European Union (EU), was not brought to court. Federal Police failed to bring Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) leader Dr. Merera Gudina to court for unknown reason.
According to Yonatan’s defense lawyer, the letter of notification was sent to Maekelawi; Federal investigation center/prison which Dr. Merera Gudina is held in custody. The court passed it without giving an order to the police to bring the witness in the next hearing even though it noticed that police either didn’t bring Dr. Merera today or give any response why it failed to bring him.
The defendant presented all defense witnesses except Dr. Merera on 04 Jan 2017 hearing at the Federal High Court Lideta Branch 4th criminal bench.
Other defense witnesses who were all appeared before court are defendant’s father Tesfaye Regassa, his sister Gedamnesh Tesfaye, his close friend Ephrem Tayachew, jailed OFC’s deputy president Bekele Gerba, Dr Yacob Hailemariam (lawyer), prominent imprisoned journalist Eskinder Nega, Dr Dagnachew Assefa (instructor at the AAU), Befeqadu Hailu (Zone9 blogger) and Mulatu Gemechu (OFC secretary).
Court didn’t hear a single witness today saying it was busy of other cases and adjourned the hearing to o5 Jan 2017.
Activist Yonatan Tesfaye was charged with terrorism for violating article 4 of the ATP through his Facebook posts, but court ruled over the defendant to defend article 6 of the ATP which states about encouragement of terrorism. It is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from 10 to 20 years.