21 January 2019

Ethiopia: Judge Presiding At High Level Corruption Case Recuses Himself

Anteneh Getachew, a judge at the federal high court 15th criminal bench who was presiding at the high level corruption case involving former MeTEC officials, recused himself citing conflict of interest.

Judge Anteneh, who was sitting at the right side of the panel of three judges, recused himself as of January 16th citing his close relationship with Zeresenay Misgana, one of the lead defense lawyers representing Major General kinfe Dagnew, former CEO of the state owned MeTEC, who is now charged with multiple corruption charges with dozens of other army members and business people.

Judge Anteneh recusal follows the transfer of the file from the 10th criminal bench, where preliminary hearings took place for the last couple weeks, to the 15th criminal bench where the police have filed corruption charges against the accused.

According to sources at the federal high court, judge Anteneh has made a strong case defending his decision to recuse himself saying justice should be served without bias and cited his personal and close friendship with the lead defense lawyer Zeresenay. It is expected that a new judge will be assigned to continue hearing defense statements. AS

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