News: Court rules release of OLF officer Bate Urgessa on bail

Bate Urgessa, political officer of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLF) (Photo:Prime Media/Screenshot)

Addis Abeba – The Addis Abeba City First Instance Court, Bole Division has ruled the release on bail of Bate Urgessa, a political officer of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) who was arrested alongside French journalist Antoine Galindo.

The duo were apprehended by security forces while conducting an interview at the Skylight hotel in Addis Abeba on 22 February 2024. They appeared before court a day later accused of “conspiring with two armed groups, the OLA-Shene and the Fano militia, to incite unrest in the capital”.

While Galindo was released on Thursday last week, a day ahead of his scheduled appearance before the court for the second time, the court on Friday, 01 March 2024, granted police 5 additional days to remand and investigate Bate.

Bona Yazo, Bate’s defense attorney told Addis Standard that during today’s session, the court ruled to release Bate on 100,000 birr bail against police inquiry of additional 10 days for further investigation.

Bate Urgessa, an outspoken politician has already spent years in and out of detentions on several occasions. Most recently, he had encountered a serious health issue while in police custody as one of the dozen jailed leaders of the OLF including Mikael Boren, Kenessa Ayana, Dawit Abdeta, Lemi Begna, Geda Gabisa, who remained in Oromia police custody long after they were freed by a federal court. AS

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