The court carry on hearing witnesses for prosecution against the Deputy president Bekelle Gerba and other OFC leaders, Gurmessa Ayano et al (22 persons) have been charged with Anti-Terrorism proclamation. Today on November 21st two witnesses testified against the first defendant Gurmessa Ayano in the afternoon session.
Even though the federal high court Lideta 4th bench fixed the whole day to hear witnesses, they didn’t testify in the morning session for the reason that the witnesses were not appear before court. The witnesses, Tadesse Negere and Tulu Gadissa are residing in Oromia region town. They are testified after they took an oath.
The first witness Bulcha Negere or Tadesse? was able identify and show the defendant to the court. The witness told to the court they became acquainted with defendant in Burayu town Traditional Coffee Shop before that He knew him by his fame. The witness said that while he and the defendant are sitting in the coffee shop, he heard the defendant said “The government is badly treating the Oromo people. We have requested permission for a peaceful demonstration. If the permission is denied we have to topple down this government by violence by mobilizing the Oromo people across Oromia” in Afaan Oromo.
The witness added that while they were sitting there they were joined by four youngsters and after the defendant has introduced them his name and he is a head of OFC youth league, and he said “we have to work together to organize the youth”. The witness testified that the defendant has given a mission for him and for the youths to organize the youth on the first day they became acquainted. The witness remembered that the mission given to them by the defendant is inciting violence and protest. The witness told the court in unrest incited two weeks after this incident happened; road blockage and mirror smashing are occurred.
While he was cross-examined when he is asked is it for party business or for organizing protest and violence did the defendant asked their cooperation to organize the youth he answered “He told us to be organized in a political Party”. However, when he was re-examined by the prosecutor he retreated and replied “He told us to organize for violence.”
When he was asked about if he has information about who has organized the violence in Burayu town, he answered “I don’t know anything”. He added that he has never seen the defendant after that day. The witness recalled that the defendant has conversed with them in the late morning and he has reported it to the Kebele security chief in the afternoon.
When he was asked by the court if he has seen Mr. Gurmessa or the youths conversing with him on the day of the unrest, he replied “I didn’t see them”. When he was asked what the protestors were saying in the protest, he responded “we oppose the Master plan!”
The next witness, Tulu Gadissa (or Girrena) started his testimony by telling the court he becomes acquainted with Gurmessa Ayano since 2007 E.C. The witness explained that Mr. Gurmessa called and told him, he wanted to meet him in 2008 E.C. He told the court on their conversation the defendant told him “I am the head of youth league in Medrek Party; This government isn’t good for us. We have requested permission for peaceful demonstration. If they authorize, that will be good. Otherwise we have to go out by ourselves and we will shout out louder and our voices will be heard.
After toppling down this government by violence, we have to establish a suitable government for us. For this purpose we have to organize the youth”. Then he told to the court he has departed with the defendant without giving an answer. And then he told to the court a violence break out after three weeks, but he didn’t know who he started it and for what started and He has never meet Mr. Gurmessa after that day.
When he is asked what the protestors were saying in the protest, he responded “The government must down!”
After hearing two witnesses the court fixed the next day to hear the remaining witnesses for prosecution.