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Mengistu is sentenced to death.

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia's supreme court yesterday sentenced to death former Marxist ruler Mengistu Haile Mariam, granting a prosecution appeal that argued a life sentence he was given for genocide was unequal to his crimes.

But Mengistu, who has lived a life of comfortable exile in Zimbabwe since he was driven from power in 1991, is unlikely to face punishment unless Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe loses a run-off election next month and cedes power. The prosecution in July appealed a life term handed to Mengistu in January 2007, after he was found guilty of genocide for thousands of killings during a 17-year rule that included famine, war and the "Red Terror" purges of suspected opponents.

He and other senior officers were found guilty after a 12-year trial that ruled his government was directly responsible for the deaths of 2,000 people and the torture of 2,400. Witnesses had told that family members who went to collect the bodies of their loved ones were asked to pay for the bullets that killed them, and evidence included torture videos.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Jun 11, 2008
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