Accused Ethiopians again remanded

Ethiopia Coup PlotBBC News: Tuesday, 26 May 2009

More than 30 Ethiopians accused of plotting to oust the government have been remanded in custody again, after more than a month held without charge.

They allegedly planned to assassinate government figures and blow up public utilities to provoke demonstrations.

Most of the defendants are former or current army officers, but also include a judge and a politician.

More than 100 relatives and supporters were gathered outside the courtroom in the capital Addis Ababa.

Family members and lawyers have been barred from visiting the accused in jail, relatives said outside Monday’s hearing.

The government has said those arrested were all members of the opposition group Ginbot Seven, founded by the exiled mayor of Addis Abba, Berhanu Nega.

An opposition leader at the time of the last elections in Ethiopia in 2005, he was arrested after the polls and jailed for treason before being pardoned. He is now teaching economics at a university in the United States.