General Manager of publisher of Lomi released on bail
The publishers of Fact and Addis Guday magazines and the general managers thereof, which were accused of inciting the public to revolt and subvert the constitutional order through false rumors, failed to appear for a hearing before the 16th Criminal Bench of the Federal High Court on Wednesday.
The police told the court that though it had instructed Fatuma Nurye, the general manger of Yifa Entertainment and Publishing Plc, which publishes Fact magazine, over her phone to appear for the hearing, it was unable to produce her because she could not be located at her address. Thus, it petitioned the court to reschedule the trial so as to produce her in person. For its part the federal prosecutor requested that the court issue an order for the defendant to be arrested and brought before it at the next hearing. The court ordered the police to produce the defendant and adjourned the hearing for August 18.
The police also asked the court to be allowed to produce Endlakachew Tesfaye the general manager of Rose Publishing Plc, the publisher of Addis Guday, for the next hearing saying the general manager could not be found at his address. It also said the publisher had closed its offices. The prosecutor hence requested the court to proceed with the hearing in the absence of both defendants. The court ruled that should the defendants not appear on August 22 pursuant to a summons to be published on the state-owned Addis Zemen newspaper, it will give an order on the matter in their absence.
Other defendants similarly charged by the prosecutor, the general manager of Dadimos Entertainment and Press Works, the publisher of Lomi magazine, and the general manager Gizaw Taye, however, appeared for Wednesday’s hearing. Gizaw told the court that he had received the charge only three days before the hearing and asked to be given time to consult an attorney in order to be able prepare his defense. The prosecutor objected to the defendant’s request saying he had adequate time after he received the charges and should be ordered to enter his plea. The court rejected the prosecutor’s demand and ordered Gizaw to furnish a 50,000 Birr bail and enter his plea on August 20. The court failed to give a ruling on the prosecutor’s request that it issue an injunction prohibiting Gizaw from leaving the country.
The Ministry of Justice had announced on August 4 that the publishers of Enku and Jano magazines plus Afro Times newspaper had as well been prosecuted on charges of a similar nature.
WRITTEN BY TAMIRU TSIGE