News Alert: Journalist Temesgen Desalegn released on 30,000 birr bail

The Moment Desalegn walked out of federal Remand Prison Center. Fecture: Tariku Desalegn

By Biruk Alemu @ BirukAlemu

Addis Abeba – Journalist Temesenge Dessalen, Founder and Managing Director of the Amharic weekly “Fitih” Magazine, is released on 30, 000 birr bail after five months of imprisonment. He was released following the decision yesterday by the federal high court to release him on bail.

However, until this afternoon, the Kilinto Prison has refused to release Temesgen Desaleng in violation of court verdict, his families and defense attorney told Addis Standard.

The Federal High Court, Lideta Division, First Anti-Terrorism and Constitutional Affairs Criminal bench has passed a verdict on Tuesday 15 November.

Journalist Temesgen was acquitted of two of the three simultaneous charges brought against him and defend himself against the remaining case from outside of prison.

His lawyer Henok Aklilu, told Addis Standard that the federal high court ruled on Tuesday that he should be released on 30,000 Birr bail, and confirmed that the order has been delivered to Kilinto prison, on which the prison refused to act on timely.

He was arrested on May 26 on suspicion of “inciting riots and creating public mistrust on the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and the government.”

It is to be noted that on 04 July, journalist Temesgen Desalegn, who was brought to the Federal High Court Lideta Division of First constitutional and anti-terrorism was granted release on a 100,000 birr bail. The prosecutor, however, appealed against the bail and brought the case to the Federal Supreme Court.

“Among all the grounds that the prosecutor filed against the journalist bail, the ENDF’s statement of taking action is one of them,” lawyer Henok said. Temesegen’s bail was eventually suspended.

Stating it is investigating the case of journalist Temesgen Desalegn, the owner and managing director of a weekly Amharic magazine called ‘Fith’, the Second Criminal Appeal Court of the Federal Supreme Court, adjourned the next hearing until 28 July 28 to make a decision.

Temesgen was arrested on 26 May on suspicion of “inciting riots and creating public mistrust on the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and the government.”

He has since been indicted on multiple criminal counts including contravening per article 44(1), (2) and Article 337 (1) of Proclamation No.414/2004 of the criminal code of Ethiopia, which includes accusations of breaches of military and official secrecy and inciting the public through false rumors. AS

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