By Staff Reporter
November 28, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- The federal attorney general of Ethiopia charged four former officials of the Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC) on suspicion of grand corruption.
According to the charges read at the federal high court 18th criminal bench on Thursday, November 28, 2019, former director-general of the military conglomerate Major General Kinfe Dagnew was named as the primary suspect.
The other suspects are Lieutenant Colonel Tsegaye Anmut, Colonel Shegaw Mulugeta, and Colonel Mohammed Berhan. The suspects were working as managers of the high tech industry, head of the board’s secretariat, and ethics and legal affairs head of the corporation, respectively.
According to charges by the federal attorney general, the suspects are accused of purchasing 111 substandard radars and subjected the nation to the embezzlement of 214 million Birr.
The radars were bought without purchase requests and knowledge of the ministry of defense, the charges read. Two Chinese companies, namely LIT and CEIEC, have reportedly collaborated with the defendants to import the substandard radars.
When checked by the engineering department of the corporation, the radars were inspected to have been substandard and useless, the prosecutor said.
The second and the third suspects, namely Lt Colonel Tsegaye Anmut and Colonel Shegaw Mulugeta, are accused of signing the purchase document with the Chinese companies to import substandard products.
The fourth suspect Mohammed Berhan, who is still at large, has been accused of processing the agreements and getting them approved by the director-general, Major General Kinfe Dagnew.
Major General Kinfe Dagnew was accused of approving the fake and illegal documents contrary to the legal procedures of the corporation.
The radars reportedly were ineffective for the Ethiopian landscape to the extent that, by using them, soldiers were not able to differentiate animals from people, the charges said.
The radars were also reportedly of inferior quality than the previous radars that were used by army members, it said.
The radars are still stored in the warehouses of the corporation and the government has lost 214 million birr due to the substandard radars, the charges noted.
Accordingly, the attorney general accused the four officials of committing grand corruption. The court has adjourned the case to Friday, November 29, 2019.
Major General Kinfe Dagnew was arrested in November 2018 in Tigray, near the border with Sudan.
According to reports circulated at that time, General Kinfe Dagnew was arrested while trying to flee to Sudan via Humera in Tigray regional state, which he denied.
He was brought to Addis Ababa later that day in a helicopter and was shown on TV in handcuffs.
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