By Staff Reporter
July 30, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- Police on Wednesday charged an opposition leader Jawar Mohammed as an architect of the latest inter-ethnic and religious conflicts which left more than 200 civilians dead in Oromia towns and in Addis Ababa.
Presenting its investigative report to the Arada Federal 1st Instance Court, an investigation team under the federal police charged the defendant of plotting a coup and attempting to demolish the Monument of King Minilik II.
As a leader of the Oromia Media Network (OMN), the suspect is also charged for conveying a message that incites conflict among ethnic and religious groups and that has resulted in loss of lives, serious and minor injuries, and damage of properties worth billions of birr.
The team said it has gathered evidence that the suspect had organized and led an armed squad that was tasked to assassinate prominent individuals.
According to the investigation team, 109 civilians were killed and 187 others are heavily wounded following the unrest perpetrated by the defendant.
The police report further revealed 44 hotels, 322 residential houses, 129 business establishments, 70 government offices, one religious institution, 26 private companies, and 53 vehicles were burned down to the ground due to the unrest called by the defendant.
The team indicated that it has uncovered another satellite device in the defendant's house.
Police claimed the defendant had used the device, which should not be possessed by an individual, to instigate violence including at times of internet blackout across the country.
According to police charges, the defendant was engaged in abducting civilians and giving orders to assassinate prominent individuals.
The investigation team added that it had sent seven pistols for forensic inspection and found that the serial numbers on all the pistols had been erased and replaced by other numbers.
Claiming that other many crimes were also committed by the suspect and investigations to have been underway, police requested 14 additional days to complete its investigation.
So far 25 people reportedly testified against the defendant who pleaded not guilty and claimed he did not call for inter-ethnic clashes. Jawar requested the court to allow foreign journalists to cover the court hearing
Lawyers of the suspect on their part demanded that their client’s constitutional and human rights be protected and allow the suspect to be released on bail.
The nine lawyers representing Jawar Mohammed claimed the police did not offer anything different from the previous hearing.
The court, which acknowledged the progress of the investigation conducted in the last days, finally gave 12 additional days for the police to complete its investigation.
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