Ethiopia: Al-Shabab Leader, Commanders of Terrorist Group Sentenced Up to Life Imprisonment

Addis Ababa — A court in Ethiopia has sentenced 41 convicts up to life imprisonment, including the leader of Somalia based terrorist Al-Shabab and its commanders.

Al-Shabab militant army leader, Hussein Almed (nicknamed Hussein Gapa), leader of the group, Ibrahim Jibril, and Hosh Adem, Ibrahim Rahwa and Ali Beshir are among the 41 convicts.

Attorney of Transnational and Organized Crimes Directorate, at the Ministry of Justice filed charges of terrorism against the individuals by producing names of 57 witnesses and evidence of a 396-page document on December 6, 2022.

The charge indicates that the defendants had orchestrated and launched several attacks in various places in the Somali region of Ethiopia until the end of 2014 EC.The defendants were also charged with joining the international terrorist group Al-Shabab, which is based in Somalia and receiving trainings and missions since 2012 EC.

As a result of the terrorist attacks, some 265 citizens were killed, causing serious and minor injuries on 323 civilians, including members of special forces of Somali Region and local militias, the charge pointed out.

Additionally, the charge stated that 13, 550,000 Birr worth of properties had also been destroyed by the attacks of the terrorist group including six schools, public infrastructures, private properties and vehicles.

The defendants had also stolen two trucks, 470 goats and sheep, as well as 119 camels from the communities in the areas.

Accordingly, they were charged with act of terrorism for breaching the criminal code of article number 23/1 A and B enacted in 1996 EC and article 35 of proclamation number 1176/2012 article 30 sub-article 1 enacted to prevent and control terrorism. They joined the terrorist organization Al-shabab while being aware that it has been designated as a worldwide terrorist organization.

After the defendants received their charge and explained to the tribunal that they did not have the ability to hire a lawyer; the Federal Supreme Court assigned them defense attorney.

On 13th February 2023, the defendants recorded their confession of faith at the court after the details of charges were read.

The attorney general as a prosecutor has presented documented evidence and witnesses in various days to prove the crime that has been committed.

Moreover, the court examined the prosecution's evidence and ruled that the defendants should defend themselves based on the provisions they were accused of. However, the defendants failed to present defense evidence in five appointments, their right to present defense evidence was waived and each of them was convicted.

As a result, the Al-shabaab terrorist group leader, Hussain Alamed or nicknamed as Hussein Gape, and another Al-shabaab group leader, Ibrahim Jibril Ibrahim, were found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Some 19 defendants who were included under the case of Hosh Adem Ibrahim have been sentenced to 11 and 12 years of imprisonment.

Regarding the 8 defendants who were also included in the charge list of Rehawa Ibrahim, suspected of supplying weapons to the Al-shabaab terrorist group, have been sentenced for 8 and 9 years at each level.

Ten other defendants included in Ali Bashir's case were sentenced to 7 years and 8 months of imprisonment and 8 years and 6 months of imprisonment at each level.

However, the court sentenced two years of imprisonment on two defendants who were mentioned in number 15 and 21 in the case of Hosh Adam Ibrahim, only for being members of the terrorist group.

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