Monday, February 19


This morning, stern-looking policemen in tan uniforms lined the road all the way from the federal prison to the High Court in Kaliti, where two local wagons, a white police SUV and a blue-camoflauged federal wagon filled with armed soldiers sat outside the gates, clearly marking the resumption of the trial. The entrance line was unusually long today, and included approximately 20 foreign observers waiting under the grey sky twith the rest o register and submit their IDs.

Once all were admitted, not an empty seat remained in the court room. The defendants looked well and were obviously overjoyed to see one another after the long recess-- Bertukan especially seemed to enjoy greeting every individual with a kiss before returning to her seat..

After an hour and a half delay, the session began and lasted less than an hour—Judge Adil quickly announced that the court would be adjourned until March 5th, apparently to allow for 3 things
1. The translation into Amharic of the press conference given by Hailu Shawel shortly after the elections to the American Press Club
2. The translation of all written documents into Amharic, apparently to be provided to all defendants at the next hearing
3. To allow for the compilation of all election results and reports from the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE)

A low, collective moan was heard from the bench of the defendants at this announcement, before they were ushered out of the court room and driven away in two separate buses before the smiling, waving crowd of spectators that had gathered outside to show their support.

(I tried to discreetly take a picture, and though I waited for an opportunity when no policeman was looking, a man in plain clothes rushed over to a nearby policeman. I am not sure what was said but both men gestured to me and then the policeman went over to speak with two other armed men...plain-clothes security??? I didn’t stick around to find out the consequences of my actions.)


Anonymous said...

I was wondering the whole night about what would happened and I was searching every where for the news this morning thank u very much …u are doing some thing good! I think we need more people like u. God bless Ethiopia and u!

Nabil said...

Thank you Mengedegna for the news. i was up all night - just could not fall asleep. All my search for news got nothing untill i checked your spot. Woyane did exactly as i expected - post pone. There had never been, and there will never be justice in the land of that tragic nation. I just do not know what to do. The gross injustice, deciet, lie, treachery, corruption, misonformation of the international media , savage and wanton attack of the public , infinite ability to create infamies of torture is at its crescendo.
I can only Hope , GOD will do something. i gave up on human beings- The only superpower is contributing to this unimaginable cruel tragedy by arming the goons to theit teeth!!!.

Be safe, take care , and continues the good work - you are the voice of the voiceless.

Solomon said...

Thank you very much, this is expected, I don't know when we Etiopains are going to enjoy democracy in our own homeland. Let's pray for God to bring an end to this impass.
thank you again for the good job and take care

Anonymous said...

That was What I was expecting since this shame trail has no substance in it.

Thank you for your updates

Anonymous said...

Yes I also send my gratitudes for the news updates, none of the international media had even a word on this issue which is so important for one the world's largest nations . Keep up the good work. Be very careful and wise to out smart the EPRDF not find ways to hinder you.

"i had to conceal my name just becuase i dont like my name"..or shoud i be honest and say thousdand of miles away from the reach of EPRDF i cant even say this harmless words with my own name. how can the internation community not recognize this brutality of EPRDF.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much. no media yet has any news while many are wondering what happened.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mengedegna,
I wanted to write you a private email on how to be careful when reporting to your readers on your blog. I thought I had seen your email before, but I don't see it now. Anyway please be very careful and don't write about details. I don't want to say in this blog what I wanted to say. So please take care, we don't want EPRDF to send you back home and lose you like Addis Ferenji, including the harassments you would be exposed to. She became too daring in telling us some details of incidents that happened to her, and as communist trained secret service, they found out who she was. Please don't forget they are meticulous. May God protect you from their evil eyes.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for keeping us posted on the latest developments. I, like many of the others was searching for a news on the trial before I ended up looking at yours. What I can say is that those wicked people are experts when it comes to postponing trials. Yeah, won't be surprised if one of our true leaders pass away while there case is still going on.


Meron said...

Thank you very much for the update! Daniel Bekele, one of the prisoners of conscience, is my cousin and I, too, like so many Ethiopians was wondering what would happen today. I appreciate the update as well as all of our posts on the current state of things in our country. Please keep it up for those of us who are on this other side of Ethiopia.

Anonymous said...

You better keep quite you extremist diaspora elements. Do not worry so much. You so called leaders will be servied justice regardless your faul cries. Justice is already in Ethiopia may be with its limitations thanks to the heros and heroines of the EPRDF. EPRDF has brought justice not to kill your faul cries but it believes that it is necessary to transform our country from your old and dark days under your former leader dictator Mengistu. We know most of you crying loud are the remenants of the Derg. But it is not too late to understand that your days have gone and gone forever. Let Ethiopia goes its way in your absence, let Ethiopia celeberates its unique Millenium in your absence. You will see this happening not in person but from such belogs as you know your crimes will not allow you to land in Ethiopia.

Anonymous said...

Just to add a few details on the splendid reporting by Mengedegna.

At the beginning of today's trial, the middle judge called out all the names of the originally accused men and women. It's was a bizzare occurence since some have long been released or their cases selectively dismissed. While the judge was reading their names, the prosecuter was correcting the judge by interjecting and saying "he is released" "her case is dropped" .... It was amazing that the judge doesn't even have latest list of names of the remaining accused!!! After he finished reading the names, he passed the microphone to Judge Leul--who sits on the right of the middle judge for what everyone thought was the verdict. Judge Leul said, "firdun kemestetachin befeet..." and put forth the three requests to befulfilled. He said for Yekatit 16(?). At this point, Judge Birtukan Mideksa (CUDP VP) rose up and said, when you said for the translations and ... to be delivered on Yekatit 16, are you saying the documents should be ready on that day in the court or are you saying the documents should be ready for the court, defendants and press before Yekatit 16?" (paraphrasing our heroine)

Meaning the Yekatit 16 resumption of the proceedings is not to simply come and find out the documents are ready for that day, is it? (tapping into our heroine's mind)

Judge Leul said, the professional translation and report from election board should reach the court, defendants and press before Yekatit 16.

What perplexed the people in the courtroom is the very word used by Judge Leul before putting the three "prerequisites". He said, in a rough translation "before we announce the decision"--instead of perhaps "in order to make a decison". Putting the already widely believed "pre-cooked" decision in the TPLF EC, even more evidently clear. As usual, as Mengedegna succinctly put it, people knew this was EPRDF's usual deflating anti-climax and delaying tactic. Just simply think about it, the court has to ask on such a day for " the compilation of all election results and reports from the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia" now? Could this have been done, say one, two or three
weeks ago? Anyway, whether it was a slip of the touge or simply an over-reading of his words, Judge Leul made it clear that the judgement is already in "his" hands; why his hand? because his statements seems to even surprise the two judges sitting with him. As the lone Tigrean on the high-chair, people close to the case believe he is the appointed direct leak to the TPLF EC. Look for another postponment on Yekatit 16. I hope EPRDF proves me wrong.

Anonymous said...

To the woyane, it is the process, not the dispensation of justice that matters. Not surprised at all. Subjected to this continued charade, justice is denied, lost in abuse and circus. One thing is ominously clear: they go down before they give in.

Anonymous said...

May God bless you for your hard work! You have the heart and the moral to help the helpless! and to be the voice of the voicless... so may God bless you and save you from their (EPDRF) evil eyes and mind! We, Ethiopians, will get jusice from God, and only him will deliver us!

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for this report. you are doing a wonderful job and please keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Could someone explain to me the necessite of these documents. I thought judges based their vedrdict on the evidence presented by the prosecution and the defense. They base there judgement on the facts presented and put out their verdict on the facts presented. What is the purpose of this new document and is it there place to request this?

Anonymous said...

Your (the anonymous at 3:06) understanding of the rules of the game is accurate. A couple of points to explain may take.
1. The order concerning the documents to be translated is somewhat less contentious for it relates to evidence already submitted by the prosecutor. Yet, he ought to have done it at the very beginning and the judges failed to so order although Ato Hailu had alerted them to the fact (in the case of Press Club interview).

1. The order concerning the production of documents from the election board is highly questionable, for the very reasons you have mentioned. The prosecution had already closed its case and all that the judges are required to do is say whether the evidence presented warrants an answer or a defense. If they decide in the affirmative the Saga continues and if they don't they will acquit the accused without requiring them to present a defense.

Thanks a million Menghdegna!


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

as (11:35 AM) said, the evidence should have been akcepted or discarded in the very moment of presentaion by the judge. Because (i think) the judical language is supposed to be AMHARIC. Have i right?
It is the dirty game of TPLF/EPRDF.
One thing more, should i be called DERGIST, if i represent a different Oppinion or position?

Anonymous said...

thank u ,gold bless you.

ryu said...

One of your readers above commented how the "process" rather than justice is important to this regime. Now we read Meles saying exact same thing: "The quality of a democracy is judged by the process rather than the frequency of change of parties in power"(ethiomedia).

Now that is tyranny at foolbloom. The same Pseudoeconomist, who told us how the current world economic policy is failing us and proposing to replace it ...(just don't ask, with what?), is now telling us, democracy is all about "process".

So is "justice".

He shuttles his victims to a make-believe courts, take pictures, invents all manners of frevolities to just adjourn the case, shuttles back those "genocidal-by-intent" prisoners back to their grottos, and then he goes blasting the airwaves with headlines of the spectacles. And voila! "Justice" at work!(mainly for foreign consumption).

And then he goes over the same "process" allover again. Until...(don't ask, but if you must, until they all (the prisoners) died out( unless someone shows him the exit door first).

That friends, according to a college dropout-turned marxist gorilla-turned tyrant state's man-turned pseudoeconomist-turned mass murderer, is "justice".