By Staff Reporter
May 25, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- The federal high court has ordered the police to hand over arrest warrant for the former intelligence chief of Ethiopia Getachew Assefa and three others who were accused of committing gross human rights violations.This is the third time the court is ordering arrest warrant for the former intelligence chief of Ethiopia.
Getachew Asefa and 25 other employees of National Intelligence and Security Services have been charged with human rights violations even though the former intelligence chief and three others, namely, Atsebha Gidey, Assefa Belay, and Shishay Leul, were charged in absentia at the Lideta Federal High Court.
The suspects allegedly committed or were involved in gross human rights violations, including torture, forced confessions, sodomy, rape, electrocution, and arbitrary detention of people including in secret detention centers.
During court hearing on Friday, members of the federal police said they received the arrest warrants last Wednesday, May 22, 2019, and could not apprehened the suspects who are believed to reside in Tigray regional state in northern Ethiopia.
The police requested for extra time considering the distance from Addis Ababa to Tigray state, notewithstanding that Tigray is less than an hour fight from Addis Ababa.
Meanwhile, the court rejected requests from the remaining 21 suspects to receive their monthly salary. It said the court does not have the mandate to rule on such kinds of requests and advised them to present their requests to the concerend civil service institutions.
The procescutor read the charges against the 21 suspects, who were represented by their lawyers for their safety, as per their previous requests to the court.
The prosecutor also delivered CD, which carries video evidences against the suspects, to the suspects' lawyers. The court adjorned the case until June 10, 2019.
Meanwhile, Ezega learned that the Mekelle Youth Association has postponed the planned street demonstration which was supposed to be held last week in support of Getachew for undisclosed reasons and unspecifed date.
According to reports from Mekelle, tens of thousands of T-Shirts with Getachew's photo and sologans that read " I am Getachew Asefa" and "Getachew should not be prosecuted but awarded" were sold out in just a day.
According to central government authorities, Tigray regional state leaders have turned a deaf ear to their repeated requests for the hand-over of the former intelligence chief. Tigray region admnistrators deny that they have any knowledge Getachew Assefa is in their state. So far, no concrete evidence has emerged that the suspects are hiding in Tigray regional state.