Fed Supreme Court Shades Light on Legality of withdrawal of Charges

ADDIS ABABA – Federal Supreme Court of Ethiopia issued a statement to shade light on the legality of withdrawal of charges on three files involving Sebhat Nega, Jawar Mohammed and Esender Nega.

Last Thursday, the government announced a decision to release a number of prisoners from prison, saying the move would create a better political environment for an inclusive national dialogue.

In a statement issued Monday, the Federal Supreme court said on Jan 6 the public prosecutor of the Ministry of Justice made a submission to the Federal High Court, Constitutional and Terrorism matters Criminal Bench, and informed the Bench that the prosecutor is making a partial and full withdrawal of charges on three files.

The three files are,

Public prosecutor v. Jawar Siraj Mohammed and others (Total number of accused persons-twenty),

Public prosecutor v. Eskender Nega and others (Total number of accused persons-seven);

Public prosecutor v. Debretsion Gebremichael (Dr.) and others (on charges against six accused persons)

The statement says the Bench examined the submission in light of the applicable procedural law and the mandate of the public prosecutor under Proclamation No. 943/2016, Article 6(F).

And it granted permission for the withdrawal of charges and ordered the Federal Prison Administration to discharge the accused persons with the condition that “no new charge” is made against them, the statement reads.

The Federal Supreme Court says it released the statement to create awareness on the legality of withdrawal of charges under the applicable criminal procedure laws of the country.

“The laws provide that with the permission of the court, the public prosecutor may before judgment, at any stage of the proceeding may withdraw any charge and the court giving due consideration for the reason shall grant the permission to the public prosecutor to withdraw the charge,” it concludes.