Oromo Leader Denies Terrorism Links, Remanded till January 28
Dr Merera Gudina, a leading opposition figure and Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), has denied charges of terrorist links the Ethiopian government accuses him of.
His lawyers said he (Gudina) vehemently denied any terrorism allegations whiles addressing the trial judge and said that he had spent his life teaching against the ideals of violence and terrorism.
An online media portal, the Addis Standard reports that the academician made his second court appearance on Thursday. Friends, family members, colleagues and diplomats who thronged the court for the hearing were kept out because the sitting was not open to the public.
The police were however granted a month to conclude their investigations of possible terrorism-related charges against him. The position of the police varies from that of the government which says he was arrested for flouting sections of the current state of emergency.
According to Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation of 2009, police investigating terrorism related offences can obtain from a court four months of each 28 days to remand and further investigate suspects.
Ethiopian security forces arrested the Gudina shortly after his arrival in the capital Addis Ababa on December 1 from Belgium. Together with other activists and the Olympic athlete Feyisa Lelisa – he met with Members of the European Parliament on 9 November 2016.