January 31, 2022

Arrest Warrant Issued Against Ex-Ethiopia PM to Give Evidence in Corruption Case

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A court in Ethiopia has ordered arrest of former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn after he refused to respond to a court summon.

Desalegn has been charged by the Ethiopian High Court with a felony criminal mischief. What this essentially means is that he was summoned to appear as a witness to which he didn’t appear.

The case relates to a corruption scheme in which several former and current Government officials are accused of fraudulent payment.

Four defendants, including former Metec Director General Kinfe Dagnawu, who has been in custody since 2011, have been indicted on corruption charges related to the purchase of farm implements.

METEC is Ethiopia’s largest company — a sprawling military-run industrial conglomerate. It has interests in nearly all aspects of the economy.

Accordingly, in 2013, the Minister of Finance, Ahmed Shide, appeared in court.

In a 2014 low interest rate agreement, Ethiopia’s defense received $ 50 million from the Polish government, which was paid to agricultural equipment companies in Poland, and the money was not imported.

The former Premier Hailemariam Desalegn,  has been repeatedly summoned to testify in Shide’s defense.

Hailemariam Desalegn, who was summoned by the Federal Police, responded by saying that it had not been able to locate him through the office of the former Prime Minister.

Defendant’s attorneys, for their part, said Hailemariam Desalegn was working for the Roman Foundation and was being escorted by government police.

Federal High Court Lideta 5th Corruption Crimes Tribunal ordered police to search for Hailemariam Desalegn and arrest him. It is the reason he will be arrested, unless something happens behind the scenes.

The court session is rescheduled for March 8, 9, and 12 to hear defense evidence from the former PM and other witnesses.

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