Court demands explanation from prison administration
The Federal High Court on Wednesday has issued a summon for head of the Federal Prison Administration to appear before court and explain why it has failed to present Andargachew Tsige before court.
Last month the court ordered Andargachew, who was extradited from Yemen a year ago and faces the death penalty on terror charges, to be brought before court as defense witness in a separate trial.
The court’s order followed a petition by defendants in a case which has been pending for the last two years. The defendants are accused on terror charges and some of who are alleged to have met Andargachew in Eritrea.
On Wednsday the court, for the fourth time, issued an order for Andargachew to be brought before court and adjourned the case to October 23. On the day, no representative from the prison administration was present in court to offer an explanation as to why the court’s previous order was not observed.
The defendants, who are ten in number, are accused of maintaining clandestine link with Ginbot 7, a group Andargachew was affiliated to and designated as terrorist by parliament. They are accused of receiving military trainings in Eritrea and plotting to carryout acts of terror in Ethiopia including the assassination of government officials.
It would have been Andargachew’s first court appearance since his arrest a year ago in which he would be expected to testify whether he had met the defendants in Eritrea.
Andargachew, who also holds a British citizenship, was sentenced to life in prison in absentia in June 2007 on charges of attempts to unconstitutionally overthrow the government along with 196 defendants which included then prominent opposition leaders. Andargachew was also among a group of Ginbot 7 leaders who were sentenced to death in absentia in December 2009 on terror charges.
In an interview with VOA Amharic service, foreign minister Tedros Adhanom defended the manner Andargachew is being held. The minister said, Andargachew has been allowed to visit development projects in the country upon his request and had been provided with a laptop to write a book.
Source:: Ethiopian Reporter