Court to deal with audio-visual evidences against Gurmessa Ayano et al again (April 10/2017 hearing)


‘Court should use another means’ –Ethiopia Broadcasting Corporate (EBC)

‘Let translators come here and translate live here at the hearing’ prosecutor

‘The intention is simply to let us stay here in prison’ Bekele Gerba

It is to be recalled that the court, on Gurmessa Ayano et al case, did give verdict so that prosecutor should present the Afaan Oromo and English languages audio-visual evidences translated into Amharic, working language of the court. Prosecutor had told court that he was waiting for the translated version from EBC. However, that did not happen.

In its written response, EBC noted that the court is better use other means as it (EBC) couldn’t translate the evidences due to work overloads on its professionals.

Lawyers of defendants on their part claimed that justice is delayed because of the translation.  They claimed that translation could have been done by other independent (commercial) translators.

The fourth defendant Bekele Gerba on his part bitterly complained over the delay. “These people think that it is funny to throw innocent people to jail. They feel as if it is heroic and they enjoy it,” Bekele said.  “I see them enjoy watching us suffering of others.  How could the prosecutor accuse me because of what I said if they do not understand the meaning and content of my speech? We feel sorry about the justice system we have at hand. Okay we are just a few people here. But we can’t imagine how many millions are suffering in a similar way out there. Had those evidences been translated, they would have proved my innocence.”

The second defendant Dejene Taffa on his part said, “There is no such a law that says the court should gather evidences that are expected to be presented by the prosecutor. However, this court is trying to do the prosecutor’s job. The prosecutors’ establishment law states that charge should be made with a kind intention. The prosecutor should have attached translated versions of the evidences from the very beginning. They could have also excluded it from the charge when they failed to understand the meaning and content of the text.”

As to Dejene, it has been a long time since the court gave verdict to the prosecutor to bring the translated evidences. “We know is it challenging to see the cooperation of institutions as they hardly obey verdicts.  We do also know that there is a powerful body behind the prosecutor. If you have the real power just stop the influence of that long handed body and minimize its interference in the justice system,” he told the court.

Admitting the delay, prosecutor requested the court to allow him to present translators so that they would translate live in the court room and re hear the evidences again.

Noting that evidence should have been presented in the working language of the court from the very beginning, judges claimed that they are not trying to do the prosecutor’s job apart from trying to assist the overall justice system.

They also noted that EBC should obey the verdict from the court. They gave verdict that EBC should present two translators (one Afaan Oromo and other English translators) in the following hearing which is adjourned April 13/2017.

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