News / Africa

10 Sentenced in Ethiopian al-Qaida Case

Map of EthiopiaMap of Ethiopia
x
Map of Ethiopia
Map of Ethiopia
An Ethiopian court has convicted ten people of having links to al-Qaida, but did not issue life sentences as the prosecution requested.  The accused say they will appeal.

Prison sentences ranging from three to 20 years were handed to nine Ethiopians and one Kenyan on Tuesday after they were found guilty of having links with the terrorist organization al-Qaida.  One Ethiopian was set free.

Lawyer Temam Ababulga defended one of the Ethiopians who was convicted on charges of terrorism recruiting.  He says his client, like all the others convicted, will appeal the sentence.

“As to my client, because the sentence that is given to my client is not legal and based on the evidence," said the lawyer.  "Why the person that my client is said to be recruiting is set free, there is no evidence and legality under which the court can make my client guilty.”

Along with the al-Qaida charges, the ten were convicted for other charges such as recruitment, laundering money and leading terrorism cells.  The death penalty can be given in Ethiopia for terrorism crimes but prosecutors requested life sentences.

The judge said the court did not hand out life sentences because of mitigating circumstances, such as the fact that none of the convicted had previous crime records.

Lawyer Temam believes the convicted were arrested for other reasons.

“I think in this particular case, somebody is trying to persuade somebody that there is a danger of terrorism in this country which I don’t think so.  There is no proper evidence to persuade me to think in such a way in this particular case,” he said.

The Ethiopians and the Kenyan were arrested in April 2012 and charged under Ethiopia's strong anti-terrorism law.  International human rights organizations frequently criticize the law, saying the Ethiopian government is using it to silence dissident voices.

All the convicted will appeal their sentences in two weeks at the Federal Supreme Court. 

This was the first trial in Ethiopia where people were suspected of having links with al-Qaida. But Ethiopian security forces arrested 15 people earlier this month for allegedly having links with al-Qaida and Somali militant group al-Shabab.

You May Like

In US, Still No Decision in Racially-charged Case

Missouri town, many Americans on edge over whether jurors will indict white police officer in August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Corruption Fighters Want More From World’s Strongest Nations

Anti-corruption activists say final communique fell short of expectations and failed to fully address systemic problems More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
January 15, 2013 4:35 PM
Here's a correction for you guys: Prison sentences ranging from three to 20 years were handed to nine Ethiopians and one Kenyan on Tuesday after they were ALLEGEDLY found guilty of having links with the terrorist organization al-Qaida. One Ethiopian was set free.


by: Bonaya Bonso from: Kenya
January 15, 2013 3:47 PM
I am surprised no one including Marthe Van Der Wolf is reporting the names of the ten people. We are not even told whether they are men or women. Are the people nameless? Did the judge rule the names of the convicts may not be published? Or is this just a case of crappy journalism?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid