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#ASDailyScoop: Court grants police 14 more days to remand and investigate AP journalists

AP journalist Amir Aman, left, and cameraman Thomas Engida. Picture: Social Media/federal Police/Archive

MahletFasil @MahletFasil

Addis Abeba – Investigating police in Addis Abeba were given 14 more days today by the Federal First Instance Court, Arada Branch to remand and investigate journalist Amir Aman and cameraman Thomas Engida, who were working for Associated Press (AP) by the time of their arrest in December last year.

During the hearing on Friday 04 February, the police requested 14 days to complete police investigations. But the court overruled the request and ordered the police to complete the investigation file and adjourned the hearing for today. The investigating police presented the file to the court today and secured the additional 14 days to keep the journalists under its custody and continue the investigation.

During previous hearings, the police said that the works sending electronic devices taken from the journalists to the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISS) for investigation were already completed and that they were waiting for NISS to send additional “technical evidence” against the journalists.

The police say they are investigation the journalists for suspected links with “terrorist organizations”, among others, after, in mid-December last year, the federal police commission announced that it arrested two journalists and a cameraman for allegedly promoting the Oromo Liberation Army, (OLA) on an international level. “The journalists who were paid large sums of money to promote Shanee (a term used by government officials to refer to OLA) in the West Shewa zone are being investigated under police custody,” the statement reads. Addisu Muluneh,who was working with ruling party affiliated FanaBC by the time of his arrest, has since been released.

The court adjourned the next hearing on journalist Amir Aman and cameraman Thomas Engida until 18 March.

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