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Monday, February 19, 2007

Court postpones verdict - new date, March 5th

ETP - The federal high court of Ethiopia has postponed verdict in the trial of human rights activists, journalists and political opponents of the government.

This comes as no surprise. According to a recent unscientific web poll conducted by ETP, over 60 percent of participants believed the government will postpone verdict.

The Ethiopian government is known for its long trials which take decades to wrap-up. This MO of the government, critics say, has resulted in the deaths of several defendants from disease and old age, while their trial was still in progress.


...Once all were admitted, not an empty seat remained in the court room. The defendants looked well and were obviously overjoyed to see one another after the long recess-- Bertukan especially seemed to enjoy greeting every individual with a kiss before returning to her seat.

After an hour and a half delay, the session began and lasted less than an hour—Judge Adil quickly announced that the court would be adjourned until March 5th, apparently to allow for 3 things:

1. The translation into Amharic of the press conference given by Hailu Shawel shortly after the elections to the American Press Club

2. The translation of all written documents into Amharic, apparently to be provided to all defendants at the next hearing

3. To allow for the compilation of all election results and reports from the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE)(More...)