By Mahlet Fasil @MahletFasil
Addis Abeba, May 31, 2021- Keria Ibrahim is back under police custody after refusing to testify against the 42 defendants in Abreha Tekeste’s file at the closed hearing on May 25, 2021.
The former speaker of the House of Federation and TPLF central committee member was brought to the Federal first instance court, Arada Bench, 1st appointment bench. The federal prosecutors are seeking to reinstate charges against Keria which they discontinued in March.
The defense team complained about the mistreatment of their client while she was being investigated after she reportedly surrendered to the government in December last year. According to the lawyers, Keria was filmed without her consent while giving her testimony to the police. The lawyers asked the court to prohibit state affiliated media from broadcasting the video in the form of a documentary. The defense team also said that Keria was denied the right to family visitation for refusing to testify against the defendants in the file that comprises various TPLF officials. They requested her transfer to Kaliti Federal Prison from where the Federal Police detained her since May 26, 2021.
The prosecutors said they will respond to the defendant’s complaints of being filmed during the next hearing. As for the claims of rights violations while under the federal police custody, the prosecutors denied the allegations that Keria was mistreated because she refused to be the prosecutor’s witness. “Her testimony wouldn’t make a difference because there are 49 other prosecutor witnesses.” the prosecutor said.
Keria on her part told the court that she had never agreed to testify against the defendants. “I told the prosecutor from the beginning. I never agreed to be the prosecutor’s witness” she said.
Keria on her part told the court that she had never agreed to testify against the defendants. “I told the prosecutor from the beginning. I never agreed to be the prosecutor’s witness” she said. She also recalled being kept in a hotel room for two weeks prior to being transferred to a residential home after she was released without bail in March. She also said that she was denied the right to speak with her family upon visitation and forbidden from engaging in sport activities after her arrest on May 26.
The court ordered the federal police to transfer Keria to Kaliti Prison. The prosecutor was ordered to include her in Abreha Tekest’s file and to respond to the defendant’s appeal at tomorrow’s witness hearing. AS