“I do not know the reason why they are absent” Kilinto Detention Center Representative.
Charged for terrorism by federal prosecutor Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) political party deputy Chairman Bekele Gerba and other leaders of the party (21 people) did not attend their court hearing because Kilinto detention center was not able to bring them to court.
Bekele Gerba and et. al were adjured for May 11, 2016 at the Federal High Court Lideta 19 Criminal bench and Kilinto Detention Center representative told court that he did not know why they are not attending their trial. While the court demanded answer from kilinto detention center the representative answered “I do not know the reason why they are absent”
Though the case was adjured for May 11, 2016 to hear preliminary objection of defendants, since they were not able to attend their trial, court adjured for June 3, 2016 once again to hear defendant’s preliminary objection.
For the same adjournment day, kilinto detention center is ordered by the court to bring response why defendants were not able to attend their trial.
Following defendant’s lawyers request that they were not able to see their clients in Kilinto, court asked representative the reason why. The representative replayed saying “if they have signed representation they are allowed”
Though Wondemu Ibsa, who said he represent all defendants, informed court defendants want the bench be changed, court responded saying application should be submitted in writing and court will give decision based on written application and written form of application is important procedural requirement.
On today’s 19 criminal bench trial middle judge Tarekegn Amare did not preside the hearing for health reasons, instead federal High Court Deputy President Judge Berihu W/ Brihu was leading the bench.
Under the file name Guremesa Ayano and et. al 22 peoples are charged with terrorism, among the defendants Guremesa Ayano, Dejene Tafa, Addisu Bulala and Bekele Gerba are of Oromo Federalist Congress political party leaders.