Addis Abeba – The Prosecutor filed charges against three police officers and their accomplices, including the head of criminal investigation department at the Airport Police Station, who are accused of abusing their authority and committing grave crimes of corruption and rape against a woman victim, the Ministry of Justice said.
The charges are filed against the first defendant, Deputy Inspector Mengstu Gebremichael Albamo, Head of the Criminal Investigation department at the Airport Police Station, the Second Defendant, Chief Sergeant Bose Lemlemu Mulye, Inspector of Bole Airport Police Station, the third defendant, Major Yohannes Abebe, federal defense force officer at the Ministry of Defense, the fourth defendant, Adam Syed Mohammed, self-employed, and the fifth defendant, Assistant Sergeant Tamam Aburai Likkasa, member of Crime Prevention department at the Addis Abeba Police.
According to the charges by the prosecutor, the case involved a plaintiff who imported musical instruments worth 4,534,203 birr on behalf famous musician Aregahegn Worash in April this year. The women was approached by the fourth defendant Adam Syed who claimed that he had the power of attorney from singer Aregahegn. But the plaintiff asked him to pay her 3.2 million birr (1.2 million birr that she paid to the customs to import the goods and additional two million birr for the her works).
However, instead of addressing the case legally, the fourth defendant colluded with the first, second and third defendants – with the later using his membership in the defense forces – went to the plaintiff’s residence with his accomplices who are not detained yet, and threatened her leading to her being arrested. The defendants then took her from the police station where she was detained on 05 August to the airline police station and threatened her that if she “didn’t return the property, we will switch the charges to a terrorism charges.”
The defendants then extracted addresses of phone numbers from the plaintiff’s personal phone where the property can be traced. The first and second defendants, knowing that the airline police station does not have a detention center for a woman detainee, deliberately took her to a place they use for “other purpose” and forced her to spend the night in an empty room that has no lights and no bed, which can’t be locked from the inside, and was not safe.
On the same day, the fifth defendant, who was assigned as night guard, forced himself in to the room at around 11:00 PM, while dressed in a police uniform and armed with a weapon. The defendant threatened the plaintiff that “even if she screamed, she would not get anything and no one would come for her rescue. He also threatened to beat her with the weapon, making her defenseless before raping her twice. After being raped, she was forced to spend three more nights in the room. The first defendant passed the order while the second defendant threatened her that it was better if she had returned the property.
The defendants also searched the residence of an individuals where the property was stored at pretending the he was a suspect in crime; they used search warrant issued with the help of the first defendant. Together with accomplices who are not detained yet, they loaded the property into a vehicle in the middle of the night after threatening and pressuring the unnamed individual.
Accordingly, the prosecutor filed charges of abuse of power against the first, second, third and fourth defendants as the main perpetrators, while the fifth defendant is charged with the crimes of raping the victim.
In addition, the third and fourth defendants have repeatedly ordered and threatened an individual, Binyam Paulos, who they thought would have the property would with him, to hand over the property to them. On 06 August the third defendant, together with yet unidentified five accomplices who were wearing federal army and Addis Abeba police uniforms, as well as two other individuals chased Binyam in a car firing four shots before they caught him. They then beat him with weapons, blindfolded and put him in a car before they took him to the golf club, where he was detained in a dark room for 15 days. They released him after forcibly returning the property.
On October 18, the defendants charged with crimes of abuse of power and grave corruption at the federal high court, fourth corruption bench. The case is adjourned in order for the defendants, who have already received the charge sheets, to appear with defense lawyers.
It is recalled that on 24 September, the Addis Abeba City Administration said an organized robbery attempt by a group of individuals who posed as federal security forces and targeted a private residence in the city was foiled after coordinated efforts by neighbors, community police and security forces in the areas. AS