Jawar, Bekele Face Heavy Charges from Prosecutors

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Federal prosecutors charged the leaders of Oromia Federalist Congress, Jawar Mohammed and Bekele Gerba, for allegedly raising a civil war, committing terrorism, and telecom fraud.

The prosecutors filed a total of ten charges against Jawar and Bekele together with 24 other defendants, some of whom are absent. The charges filed today at Lideta High Court Criminal Bench charges will be heard at the Court on Monday, September 21, 2020.

The multiple charges filed in one case allege that the defendants violated several laws including, the Ethiopian Criminal Code, the Anti-Telecom Fraud Proclamation 761/2012, and the newly amended laws of Anti-Terrorism Proclamation 1176/2020 and Firearm Administration & Control Proclamation 1177/2020.

Prosecutors alleged that the defendants organized and incited an armed rising and civil war by propagating religion and ethnic-based violence, accusing them of violating article 240 of the Criminal Code.

The article cited by the prosecutors, depending on the accused’s involvement and the degree of the damage sustained if found guilty, carries a punishment ranging from seven years imprisonment up to the death penalty.

Some of the other defendants in the case include Hamza Adnan, Dejene Gutema of OMN, Berhanemeskel Abebe, and Tsegaye Ararssa, the last three of whom are in absentia.