News: OLF members, ONN journalists on trial accused of forming Oromia Transitional Government ask court to change presiding judges

Addis Abeba: Defendants under the Qasim Abdullahi file, accused of conspiring to form ‘The Oromia National Transitional Government Committee’ and two ONN journalists had an appearance yesterday, at Oromia Supreme court on the 23rd of June, 2022. 

Yesterday’s court hearing in which the 17 accused were present, was one in which a previous request forwarded by their lawyers asking for the presiding judges to be changed due to what they called “a partisan stance of the judge towards the public prosecutor.” 

However, the court has adjourned the next hearing until 28 June 28 to provide the ruling on the request of the defendants. 

During an earlier hearing on May 12, 2022, the accused were charged by the prosecution with the intentional and active act of participating in the usurpation of power, by unconstitutional means. The judge had ordered the prosecutor to amend the charges as such charges were not in line with the law and would also affect the mental state of the accused, and appear on June 2, 2022. 

At the hearing on 02 June, however, the public prosecutor failed to bring to the court the amend charges, prompting the defense team to request for the release of their clients. Instead, the court granted the prosecutor one more chance to amend the charges and adjourned the case for 23 June.

The 17 defendants accused of attempting to form Oromia National Transitional Government were originally arrested on November 13, 2021. They are currently being held at the Dallati prison in Sabata city, in Oromia Regional State, Special Zone Surrounding Finfinne. AS

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