Mar 17, 2006 (ADDIS ABABA) — The prosecutor filed charges against 118 individuals suspected of attempting to dismantle the constitutional order in Ethiopia following the civilian unrest allegedly masterminded by the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy Party (CUDP).
Some 14 of the defendants have appeared at the second criminal bench of the Federal High Court and heard the charges, while the bench has ordered police to bring the remaining suspects at the next trial.
While asked whether they would hire attorney by their own or not, the defendants said they could not hire attorney by their own and requested the court to grant them bail rights as they were arrested for over five months.
The bench ordered the defendants to produce evidence that shows their incapability to hire attorney by themselves, the official ENA reported.
The court has adjourned the trial for March 29, 2006 to pass decisions after examining the bail request and objections of the prosecutor.
The court has ordered police to bring those suspects who were granted bail rights on another trial and who did not appear at the day’s session for May 8, 2006.
Among the defendants, Alemu Balcha and Lieutenant Girma Tesfaye appealed that they were beaten by a member of the police force.
The bench ordered Deputy Commissioner of the Addis Ababa Police Administration to examine the case and present his report to the court.