Tigray Government Refuses to Hand Over Getachew Assefa - Attorney General
January 5, 2018 - The Attorney General of Ethiopia requested help from the House of Peoples’ Representatives (HPR) to arrest former head of Intelligence chief Getachew Assefa.
The Attorney General, BerhanuTsegaye, specifically asked HPR to apply pressure on the Tigray regional state to hand over the former chief.
The Attorney General made this request while presenting five-month performance report to the House of Representatives.
During the session, Berhanu presented details of activities carried out in the past five months including measures taken against crimes, human right abuses, corruption and organized crimes.
Berhanu indicated that the government knows the former intelligence chief is still in Tigray, but said 'we do not want to risk people's lives to get him.'
Members of HPR asked why the Tigray regional state is not handing over the suspect and whether the suspect can be charged and tried in absentia.
The Attorney General also said he is confident that Getachew and other suspects who are sheltered in Tigray or fled abroad will be brought to justice no matter how long it takes.
Responding to questions from house members, he rejected the regional government claim that it did not receive request from his office.
Getachew Assefa led the Ethiopian National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) for about two decades until he was replaced by General Adem Mohammed in June 2018.
Getachew Assefa is one of nine TPLF executive committe members, the leading organ of the TPLF. He is rarely seen in public whether in Tigray or elsewhere.
The government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has accused Getachew Assefa of serious human right violations, and for even planning the grenade attack against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on June 23, 2018.
His whereabouts are currently unknown, but many believe, including the central government, that he is in Tigray region in northern Ethiopia.