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News: Supreme court upholds high court’s decision to grant bail to former COO of Ethio telecom

undated photo of the accused Esayas Dagnew as provided by journalist Samrawit who is covering the ongoing trials on corruption and human rights abuse allegations

Mahlet Fasil

Addis Abeba, February 20/2019 – In a ruling delivered this morning, the federal supreme court upheld a decision by federal high court to grant 50, 000 birr bail to Esayas Dagnew, former chief operating officer of the state monopoly Ethio telecom, who is accused of corruption allegations by the police.

The supreme court overruled the police’s appeal contesting last week’s decision by the federal high court 10th criminal bench to grant the bail to the accused on the ground that the police have failed to provide enough evidence beyond reasonable doubt. This is the third time Esayas’ right for bail has been approved by both the federal high court and the supreme court.

Despite a month-long court authorized bail ordering the release of Esayas Dagnew, and after the first failed attempt, the police have, on February 13, presented new corruption allegations at the federal high court. However, the court authorized the 50, 000 birr bail, which the police, once again, appealed at the supreme court. It is that appeal the supreme court overruled in its decision today.

Isayas was first detained on November 13, following major crackdown on former MeTEC military and civilian officials, including his bother Major General Kinfe Dagnew, who is now facing multiple corruption charges. He has already lost an appeal for public defenders when the federal high court 10th criminal bench rescinded its own earlier decision to allow Esayas public defenders.

His defense team has now succeed to have his release on bail, for the third time. AS

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