Six of the ten charges brought against Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba, and 22 other individuals arrested in a relation to a wave of ethnic unrest that followed the murder in June 2020 of popular musician Hachalu Hundessa were dropped on Friday, 22 January.
Among the ten sets of charges brought at the Federal High court, Lideta Branch on 21 September 2020 relating to the violation of anti-terrorism laws, telecom fraud laws, and firearms laws, those related to possession of illegal firearms were dropped, it was said.
While there were 24 defendants in Jawar’s case, only 12 of them, including Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba, and their bodyguards, were charged under the Firearms Administration And Control Proclamation.
At the previous session, the court ordered the federal prosecutor to modify the charges. While the prosecutor came up with some parts of the amended charges, it told the court that it did not want to alter the charges filed under the firearms laws.
In response, the court ruled that the charges could not be included under the stated terms of the proclamation and ordered the dismissal of all six cases filed under the Firearms Administration And Control Proclamation.
The other four charges relating to initiating ethnic and religious conflict and inciting one party against another, thereby violating the Criminal Code, terrorizing the population and pressuring the government, violating an article of the Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism Crimes Proclamation, importing and installing electronic items without authorization violating the Telecom Fraud Offence Proclamation remain.
The court adjourned the hearing until January 27.