By Andualem Sisay Gessesse – The Ethiopian government has arrested 36 people accused of running hidden prisons across the nation and committing crimes against humanity and 27 accused of depriving the nation of wealth.
"Over the past five months, we have gathered evidence of people involved in crimes against humanity in different parts of the country," said attorney general Berhanu Tsegaye, who said that there are still people who hide in the country and in abroad who are involved in the crimes. .
Making common rape, sodomy in unregistered prisons, using forbidden techniques for torture, denying sunlight, prolonged exposure to heat and killing prisoners, are among the crimes against humanity committed by the suspects, according to Berhanu, who informed journalists in his office on Monday .
He stated that in Addis Ababa there were seven unregistered prisoners where the crimes were committed, while similar crimes also committed in other parts of the country, mainly by the intelligence people.
He noted that one of the purposes of these tortures was to have suspect prisoners accept that they have committed crimes and have forced some politicians to give up their duties.
For many years, international human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, have published reports on crimes against humanity in various parts of the country that the regime has denied.
With regard to the assassination attempt of Prime Minister Abiy, the Prosecutor General indicated that it was orchestrated by the former intelligence chief of the country, but not by the institution.
Currently, those who throw the bomb attack are in jail because of their direct involvement. The Attorney General says they were investigating the people behind the attack and completed their investigation, which led to the former intelligence chief of the country.
The former head of intelligence of the country, which the Attorney General did not mention, mentions by name that "everyone knows who the former secret service was".
Getachew Assefa, who lost his position after Prime Minister Abiy came to power, was the former intelligence chief of Ethiopia, whose face was still unknown to the public.
Currently Mr Getachew is based in Mekelle and he has recently been appointed security leader of the Tigray region and member of the central committee of Tigray Liberation Front (TPLF).
Responding to the question of whether it would be difficult to arrest the former intelligence chief and now head of security at Tigray Region, Attorney General Berhanu said: "Let alone a security leader of a region, even if he is a president or leader he is not above the law … We are all under the law ".
Since these crimes have allegedly been committed by internationally banned crimes under the international laws that Ethiopia signs, the government is currently consulting with different countries to bring those who are hiding abroad, according to the Prosecutor General.
The TPLF was the most powerful group in the government coalition (Ethiopian Peoples & Revolutionary Democratic Front – EPRDF) since the former rebel group seized power in May 1991 and formed the current coalition coalition.
But after the arrival of Prime Minister Abiy, who is from the Oromo Democratic Party – one of the four members of the ruling coalition – the dominance and influence of TPLF within the EPRDF is decreasing.
Wealth of the nation robbing
The Attorney General also stated that another 27 former army officers, their business partners and brokers who are involved in illegal money from the country by abusing their duties and responsibilities and corrupting a military company, are known as Metal Engineering Technology Corporation (METEC).
He stated that the military generals and officers responsible for METEC and their affiliates in seven years between 2010/11 and 2016/17 have often bought more than $ 2 billion with a up to 400% inflated / exaggerated price on purchased products and services.
It is indicated that most purchases were made from China and Malaysia through their brockers who have blood ties with the military generals and the outboard members. As a result, the accused officers and their allies have hidden huge amounts of money abroad, including assets such as companies. They are also accused of making purchases from similar companies without the right bidding process, which is contrary to the government's rules and procedures.
Speaking of local transactions that METEC has done, the Attorney General also stated that those transactions worth several billions of dollars were also carried out with family members of METEC's officials and their relatives, as well as people who have direct business relationships with them.
METEC has been involved in mega projects, ranging from production and maintenance of military equipment to the construction of billions of dollars on the Nile in Ethiopia and various sugar factories.
Among the crimes, the military officers in charge of METEC also include buying and using two ships without the Ethiopian flag and executing illegal companies between Mogadishu and Iran. They are also accused of buying old dilapidated five gets from Israel whose government does not know the whereabouts of one.
In order to arrest the remaining ones involved in both crimes against humanity and against human rights, the government will reveal the photos of the suspect to get help from the public and arrest them, according to the Prosecutor General.