Ethiopian Defense Chief of Staff alleged killer appeared in closed court hearing

As the alleged killer of Ethiopian Defense Chief of Staff appeared in court, no journalists were allowed to the court room. Major Ethiopian government media outlets did not cover the story either.

Ethiopian Defense Chief of Staff _ killer
The alleged killer, Mesafint Tgabu. File/EBC

November 6, 2019

Alleged killer of Ethiopian Chief of Staff Seare Mekonnen reportedly appeared in a closed court for a hearing on Tuesday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

According to the Ethiopian government, the alleged suspect is Private Mesafint Tigabu who appeared in first instance court in Piazza in the center of Addis Ababa.

DW Amharic service reporter in Addis Ababa, Yohannes GebreEgziabhier, said the suspect arrived in the premises of the court in a mini-van and was escorted by paratroopers.

The suspect was in white T-shirt and active-wear bottom and showed no signs of limping or any other disability, according to the reporter. 

Journalists were not allowed to the courtroom. However, DW report said that the escorts and some other people in a civilian clothes were allowed to attend the hearing.

Government says Mesafint Tigabu killed Ethiopian Chief of Staff, Seare Mekonnen and his friend Major General Gezai Abera, in the residence of the chief of staff in the capital Addis Ababa on June 22 at around 9 p.m. local time.

Conflicting information has been given to the public regarding the alleged killer soon after the news of the national tragedy was disclosed in the same evening.

First, it was disclosed that the suspect was killed in a shoot out shortly following the incident. And then it was claimed that he was rather wounded and getting medical attention in undisclosed facility.

Hours before the death of the chief of staff in the capital Addis Ababa, there was another killing in Bahir Dar, seat of Amhara regional state, which claimed the lives of three top government officials of the region including Ambachew Mekonen who was head of the region.

Ethiopian government described the twin events in Bahir Dar and Addis Ababa as “attempted coup d’état.”

A day after the incident, security chief of Amhara region, Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige, was killed in a shout out. The regional and federal government claimed that he was behind the attempted coup d’état.

Families of the late General Seare Mekonnen have been criticizing Ethiopian government over the way it handled the case.

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