Ethiopian MP appeals 15-year sentence

Justice in Ethiopia
MP Shewaferaw Yiknaw said he was tortured, beaten and electrocuted while in prison

By Tamiru Tseige

Shewaferaw Yiknaw, a Member of Parliament representing the former Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) filed an appeal against a 15-year prison term that the Federal High Court slapped on him on a robbery charge.

In his memorandum of appeal, he said that he was not guilty of the crime he was convicted of and that he was a victim of a conspiracy for his membership in an opposition party. He reminded the court that the Federal High Court had sentenced him to eight years in prison on a separate robbery charge and petitioned it to review both appeals jointly.

Shewaferaw, who appeared in court with an IV drip, said that he was not caught red-handed for the crime he was alleged to have committed and was arrested while he was on his way from the hospital while his immunity was still valid.

He also said that he was tortured, beaten and electrocuted while in prison adding that his health had been affected as a result he was still in pain.

Shewaferaw asked that the court to exonerate him or suspend his sentence and reiterated that the charge was an elaborate conspiracy against him.

The prosecutor on its part said that all the evidence it had presented clearly showed that the defendant had committed the crime he was accused of and that his request to have both his cases be seen in the court be dismissed as they were unrelated crimes.

Shiferaw was accused and found guilty of having tried to defraud a woman who had come from abroad to have her mother hospitalized. She was supposedly trying to exchange 110,000 USD which the defendant said he will do and then tried to run away with the money with two accomplices who posed as police officers.