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Bereket Simon appeared in court for a second time

Ethiopia _Bereket _Tadesse
Photo credit : EBC

February 8,2019

Former government communication Affairs Minister and right-hand man of the late Meles Zenawi, Bereket Simon appeared in court in Bahir Dar today for a second time.

Amhara region anti-corruption board presented evidences it collected to court and claimed that it has not completed its investigation. And the court has granted 14 more days for completion of the investigation.

Among the evidence presented to the court is the sale of Dashen Beer Factory to a British Company. The region’s anti-corruption claims that the suspects deliberately misplaced documents in a way not to be found while the documents should have been handled in an organized manner.

One of the reasons that the region’s anti-Corruption Commission requested extra 14 days, according to a report by Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), is to complete auditing Dashen beer factory including its transfer to a British company.

“Finding complete evidence from TIRET Corporation” is another challenge for the commission which complicated the investigation. The bottle neck in that regard in witnesses who could provide information are outside of Ethiopia for medical or other reasons and finding their whereabouts has turned out to be challenging, says Amhara Region Anti Corruption Commission.

The investigator also claimed that US $90 million is deposited at Barclays Bank in the name of an individual but it did not tell the court the name of the account holder.

The Defendants, Bereket Simon and Tadesse Kassa, on their part still claim that the situation in the region is not convenient to the court proceeding and that they are unable to find lawyers who could represent them.

They also opposed that additional 14 days is granted and that the region’s anti-corruption commission did not clearly presented reasons for their arrest and they do not know as to what they are charged with.

Investigator of the Commission admitted that it has not sued them yet for it is still investigating the crime.

Bereket Simon and Tadesse Kassa were arrested in Addis Ababa on January 23.

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