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Update: Senior TPLF, former federal gov. officials, opposition leader Dori Asgedom released after charges terminated

Clockwise: from top: Keria Ibrahim, dr. tekeste Abraham, Dr Addis Alem Balema and Dori Asgedom.

By Medihane Ekubamichael @Medihane

Addis Abeba – Following the decision by the Ministry of Justice earlier today to terminate criminal charges against former top civilian and military leaders who were members of the TPLF, three senior TPLF officials who held senior positions in the federal government have been released from jail nearly two years after their arrests.

Defense lawyer Tadelle G/Medihin told Addis Standard that among those who are released today include Keria Ibrahim, former Speaker of the House of Federation (HoF) and Executive Member of the TPLF; Dr. Abraham Tekeste, former Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation, who was also the Deputy Commissioner of the National Planning Commission with the rank of State Minister, and Executive Member of the TPLF; and Dr. Addis Alem Balema, Former Board Member of the Ethiopian Airlines, a member of parliament and of the TPLF’s Executive Committee. Dr. Addis Alema is also the author of the much acclaimed book “Democracy and Economic Development in Ethiopia” and former vice president of Tigray regional state.In February 2020, PM Abiy Ahmed appointed Dr. Addis Alem as Director General of Policy Research Institute.

Keria, who had voluntarily given herself up on 01 December 2020, had been held for 40 days without appearing in a court of law in what she told federal judges was a “private facility” in a location she didn’t know.

In March 2021, the police said she was released without providing the circumstances in which she was released despite earlier statement that they had 10 witnesses ready to testify against her in the terrorism charges the prosecutors sought to indict her with.

However, in May the same year, Keria was taken back under police’s custody after refusing to testify against the 42 defendants charged in Dr. Abreham Tekeste’s file.

Among the notable civilian officials released today is Dori Asgedom, Chairman of the Assimba Democratic Party (ADP), who had been behind bars in Addis Abeba since January 2021. Dori is a recognizable political figure who represented the Irob minority community, the party’s stronghold in Tigray regional state. Dori was a topic of Addis Standard’s recent in-depth reporting.

Dori told Addis Standard that although he had expected his release sometime soon, it came as a surprise especially since he had a court hearing this morning which was adjourned for next hearing. “I am glad that the Pretoria peace agreement is gradually bringing about a series of relief and solutions to the people of Tigray. I hope other remaining issues are also to be resolved accordingly,” Dori said, adding, “now that I am out, I am looking at better opportunity to struggle for those unresolved remaining issues.” AS

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