By MahletFasil @MahletFasil
Addis Abeba – Judges at Gelan district court of the Oromia Regional State Special Zone Surrounding Finfinne today ordered prosecutors of Oromia’s Attorney General office to file charges on journalist Tamerat Negera, who has been under Oromia police custody for the past three months, within 15 days.
Despite being in police custody for 90 days, no charges were filed on Tamerat as of today.
In today’s ruling, the judges also ordered that until the Oromia state attorney general office filed the charges, Tamerat should be transferred to Sebeta city, Daleti police station, located in Oromia Regional State Special Zone Surrounding Finfinne, according to Terara Network.
Today’s ruling by Gelan City District Court followed after Oromia Police said its investigations on Tamerat were completed. Subsequently the police informed the court that they have handed over the journalist’s investigation file to the Oromia Regional State Attorney Generals office.
During the last hearing on 24 February the judges granted Oromia police 14 days to continue remanding journalist Tamerat Negera, after the police submitted two pages charge sheet containing list of accusations the police wanted to indict Tamerat with. The police said on 24 February that the remaining investigations including searches into Tamerat’s phone records and computers memories would be concluded and submitted to the court during the hearing today.
Furthermore, Oromia Police requested the additional days to conduct additional investigation into the eight alleged violations the police accused Tamerat with through his media broadcast programs on the Terara Media Group’s YouTube channel.
However, according to Gemmechu Gutma, Tamerat’s defense lawyer, the police failed to submit the remaining investigation files during the hearing today, prompting his defense team to file a motion for a bail and requested charges to be filed if there were sufficient grounds to charge his client. The court has rejected the motion for bail and ordered Temarat to remain in police custody pending the indictment by Oromia prosecutors within 15 days.
Gemmechu also told Addis Standard that families and friends were prohibited by the police from attending today’s hearing. AS