By Biruk Alemu @Birukalemu21
Addis Abeba – The Federal Supreme Court has upheld a ruling by the federal high court to release journalist Gobeze Sisay on bail his lawyer, Addisu Algawu, told Addis Standard.
Addisu recalled that the Federal Higher Court ruled on 13 October to release Gobeze on 20,000 ETB bail, which the federal prosecutor appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s judges, after examining the law and the arguments put out by both the prosecutor and the defendant concluded that there was no justification for rejecting the federal higher court’s ruling and decided that his right to bail should be upheld and that he should pursue his case from outside, according to Addisu Algawu.
The Judges, however, raised the amount of bail money from 20,000ETB to 100,000ETB given the nature of the seriousness of the crime with which he was charged.
Gobeze Sisay, the owner and founder of Amhara Voice, an internet based media, was also banned by the high court from leaving the country, and the Federal Supreme Court ruled to upheld the dicision, added Addisu.
The Federal prosecutor filed multiple criminal charges against journalist Gobeze Sisay alongside who were released Meaza Mohammed as well as author and activist Asaye Deribe who were were released on Thursday 13 October on a bail of 10,000 ETB each.
The charges, which were filed at the federal high court on Friday 30 September against the trio, include provisions of allegedly “spreading false rumor” and disclosing the army’s battlefield locations “to the enemy and the public.”
Journalist Gobeze Sisay, who is the 1st defendant, is facing accusations of appearing on a Twitter Space hosted by an account called “Amhara Perspective” and making a speech that the public was against the national defense forces. He is accused of saying that the youth do not want to be on the side of the government and stating that the public desires to see the T.P.L.F back in the capital Addis Abeba.
The charge accuses Gobeze of sending out information that undermines the public’s confidence on the defense capacity of the government and working to create ideas that harm the good relationship between the people and the army.
It also accuses him of posting on his personal Facebook account saying: “in the current war, the leaders of Fano, Mere Wadajo and Demle Aragawu, who are fighting against the TPLF, have survived after being shot from behind repeatedly. In this situation, there are youths who question “how can I trust the government and go to war?”. AS