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News: Sergeant guilty of assassination of army chief, retired general sentenced to life imprisonment

Photo: አስር አለቃ (Corporal/Private?) Mesafint Tigabu

By Mahlet Fasil @MahletFasil

Addis Abeba, June 28, 2021- The Federal High Court Lideta Branch 3rd Constitutional and Anti-terrorism Bench has today sentenced Private Mesafint Tigabu to life in prison. The body guard of the late General Seare Mekonnen, was named as the main suspect in the  June 22, 2019 assassination of  General Seare Mekonnen, the then Chief of staff of the National defense Forces of Ethiopia, and Major General Gezai Abera. 

The court arrived at a guilty verdict on  Private Mesafint Tigabu and gave an alternative appointment to June 18, 2021 to hear the defendant’s sentence in mitigating circumstances. At the last hearing, the prosecutor asked the court to sentence Private Tigabu to death after  stating the aggravating factors such as abuse of responsibility and making deals to commit crime. 

The defense team on its part argued that their client has no criminal record and therefore it is unlawful to sentence him to death. The defense team also cited their clients health conditions, good behavior, his Six year service to the defense forces as well as his family responsibilities and asked the court to reduce the sentence. 

After hearing both sides, the court sentenced Private Mesafint to life in prison for ‘assassinating the nation’s defender of sovereignty’ and putting into consideration the possible consequences of his actions on the country. AS

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