Ethiopia’s Ex-Minister Bereket Gets 6-Years Prison Term over Corruption

ADDIS ABEBA – An Ethiopian ex-minister Bereket Simon, has been sentenced to six years in prison over corruption charges today.

Bereket was arrested together with Tadesse Kassa, a former board member of TIRET Corporation, an investment fund in Amhara regional state, in Addis Abeba in January 2019.

The two suspects were taken to Amhara region’s capital, Bahir Dar, where both faced corruption and mismanagement of public investment fund.

After almost 15 months of trial proceedings, the regional high court found both defendants guilty.

The court handed down six years jail term and 10, 000 birr fine to Bereket while Tadesse gets eight years prison time and 15, 000 birr fine, reports Amhara Mass Media Agency.

The defendants convicted by the Regional Court can appeal against their sentence.

Bereket, who served as minister of communication in the 1995-2012 government of Meles Zenawi and was widely considered his right-hand man, co-founded the fund, TIRET Corporation, in 1995 and led it until 2017.

TIRET belongs to the Amhara regional administration and owns firms in the brewery, construction, transport and logistics sectors.