Ethiopian opposition slams court decision as "shame" verdict.
August 16, 2009(ADDIS ABABA) -- After a guilty verdict handed down
by an Ethiopian court against its top leaders last week, the opposition
Movement for Justice Freedom and Democracy (Ginbot 7) has rejected the
court's decision calling it "another shame trial by the
illegitimate and ethnocentric regime" Last week the Federal High
Court of Ethiopia in absentia convicted 13 top leaderships of the
movement for coup plot. According to the government, the group had
planned to kill senior government ministers, blow up major public
facilities, and incite public protest and there by topple government.
"We have witnessed the same old discredited pattern of a rogue
regime concocting false charges, building a case against the political
opponents based on confessions obtained under duress, parading false
witnesses and then convicting them to death or to long prison
terms," the Ginbot 7 said in a statement received by Sudan Tribune.
The group denounced the manipulation of justice by the government to
persecute opponents on an invalid basis. "Ethiopians know the
verdict has already been signed sealed and delivered to the black robbed
henchmen at the kangaroo court." "Ginbot 7 strongly condemns
the egregious violations of the human rights and civil liberties of
these political prisoners and calls on all who subscribe to democratic
values and to the protection of universal human rights to stand with the
Ethiopian people in their fight against this dictatorship." it
added The 13 convicted leaders of Ginbot 7 are mostly based in the
United States and Britain; another 32 men in Ethiopia. They are mainly
former and current army personnel, including two generals who have been
charged. Three have been bailed and 29 are in custody. The prosecution
has presented its case and the defense trial will resume on August 26.
The group is led by an Ethiopian born US national, professor; Birhanu
Naga. He is one among the convicts on the coup plot charges. He was
elected mayor of the capital, Addis Ababa, after elections in 2005, but
was later arrested along with other opposition leaders and accused of
orchestrating the street protests. He was pardoned in 2007 along with a
number of opposition leaders. (ST)
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