Omot Agwa and court Hearings

Hearing Date – Jan 4/2016 

Federal high court Lideta 19th criminal bench seeing Omot Agwa et. al, today January 4, 2016  couldn’t deliver decision because of overload of many cases said the presiding judge Tarekegn Amare. He said “the file was mixed with others and was forgotten to deal with, could’t deliver the verdict” .the court gave another appointment for January 11, 2016. The hearing was adjourned for January 4th to hear court ruling to determine the issue of the charge request to be modified by the defendants and the public prosecutor response.

On the hearing the third defendant Jemal Omor submitted his grievance to the court that he has been given medical appointment while he was at the federal crime investigation center (Maekelawi) for September 2015 but the administration of Kilinto detention center couldn’t allow him to follow up his medication. The defendant said he has asked the administration many times but no one allowed him to.

The 19th criminal bench judge Tarekegn Amare replied to the compliant that court cannot order the detention center to take someone to a specific hospital nor it has authority to do so but will interfere if only denied the access in explicit way.

Hearing Date – January 11th 2016

Charged September 4, 2015 Federal high court Lideta 19th criminal bench Omot Agwa three defendants (Omot Agwa, Ashine Austin, and Jemal Omor) presented their demand to the court to get modification on an ambiguous points in the charge.  The public prosecutor gave its response regarding the request and it was for January 11, 2016 that the court was expected to give its verdict.

The 19th criminal bench presiding judge Tarekegn Amare read out the court decision and only one out of eleven amendments where accepted. The court gave the order basing the prosecutor will give clarification while proceeding the trial.

The defendants argued prosecutors should not charge them together since the charge is presented independently and the court give verdict using article 211 no 7/3 of the criminal law satating even if the charge against them is different since they all were caught together while traveling to Kenya- Nairobi to attend a meeting called by Gambela Peoples Libration Movement (GPLM) that can enable the prosecutor to charge them together.

The defendants also asked clarification in the charge about the very existence of the organization Gambela Peoples Libration Movement (GPLM) which the prosecutor claims that they are part, since the movement has not been declared as a terrorist organization in any court then they demand the prosecutor to cancel it from the charge. The court overruled the request stating it can be clarified while preceding the trial.

In the charge the prosecutor claimed the defendants were communicating via email and Skype but failed to mention with whom they made the communication, it was also one of the clarification point asked but the court decided with the prosecutor saying it will be clarified during the trial.

out of the eleven amendment request by the defendants,  the court only ruled one issue to be amended.  the public prosecutor was ordered  to include the names of the police officers whom the prosecution claimed that they were hired by the first defendant as a police officer after returning back from taking military training in Eritrea. The court is adjourned to see the amended charge for January 26, 2016.


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