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British jury trial acquitted Ethiopian academic and activist Dr Tadesse Biru from terrorism charges

British Jury trial cleared Tadesse Biru from eight counts of terrorist charges

Tadesse Biru Kermso-
Ethiopian dissident Tadesse Biru

Ethiopian News
December 19,2017

A jury in British court ruled today that Tadesse Biru Kermso, an academic and pro-democracy activist, is not guilty of all counts of terrorist charges brought by prosecutor, reported Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) – US based Ethiopian news broadcaster. A total of 8 counts of charges was brought before the Jury.

Among the charges, “attending a terrorist training camp” – apparently a reference to his trip to Eritrea where he met Ethiopian rebels who are fighting against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front Regime in Ethiopia.

His case was sent to jury trial in August of this year after a judge ruled that his case not suitable for a magistrate count.

Scotland Yard charged him in connection with alleged terrorism offences after police claimed that it found articles on security,intelligence and urban guerrilla on his computer. Tadesse argued that the information was only for research purposes.

In his native country Ethiopia, he was involved in the 2005 movement for democratic change in the country and had to flee. He is given political asylum in the country and has been in the country since 2009. He still one of the strong critical voices in the Ethiopian opposition based abroad.

Apart from being a university professor, he is a media analyst on Ethiopian affairs. He also used to host weekly show from ESAT’s London studio entitled “Ye Timhirt Bilchita”

Asked by ESAT as to how he feels about the decision from the Jury, he answered “I am happy that authorities brought the charges against me because it would give a lesson that the truth always prevails where there is justice”

He thinks “It [the verdict]sends a message that democracy is not just holding elections, it is also about justice”

The Ethiopian government has been targeting critics and opposition voices abroad with commercial spyware for years now and Tadesse Biru has been one of Ethiopian activists whom the Ethiopian government was going after with malicious software.
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