Dr Merera Gudina, one of the veteran opposition figures in Ethiopia and Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), has presented preliminary objections to the federal court where he is standing trial on terrorism and other criminal charges,africanews reported.
Gudina was charged along with two others, Jawar Mohammed, Executive Director of the Oromia Media Network and Berhanu Nega, Chairman of the “outlawed” Arbegnoch Ginbot 7 Political Party in absentia. The charges were made known on February 23, 2017.
The current objections raised by Gudina, the case was adjourned until May 4 in order for state prosecutors to respond to the objections.
Dr. Merera, according to court papers insisted that “his trip to Belgium and the European Parliament address should not be reasons for his continued detention”. He added that "his trip had nothing to do with trespassing the state of emergency,” which is one of the charges prosecutors have pressed.
He also denied claimes that he granted interviews to anti-government media outlets, the basis of which was a spike in protests in the restive regions.
The academic who was arrested upon his return from a European tour in December last year was charged with terrorism even though he was previously held for flouting state of emergency rules