August 31, 2020
A court in Bishoftu (Debre Zeit), in the Oromo regional state, ruled on Monday that police are not getting another two weeks of extended time “to complete an investigation on Lidetu Ayalew.”
The court said that the investigation file is now closed and the defendant is invited to apply for bail rights — as reported by state media Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (FBC).
The court cited criminal code article 1, sections 1 and 2 to rule that a police request for 14 more days is not reasonable in view of the law.
It was for the fourth time that Lidetu appeared before the district court in Bishoftu town -where he has a residential home.
He had been asking the court to consider his medical condition (he said that he has a heart condition that could make him vulnerable to the Coronavirus disease). One of his complaints was that the prison condition has made social distancing difficult.
Lidetu was arrested in connection with the violence in the Oromo region following the assassination of Hachalu Hundesa at the end of June 2020 but law enforcement bodies established that the massacre in some places started before even the death of Hachalu was announced.
Police suspected Lidetu, a co-founder of the Ethiopian Democratic Party, of organizing youth in Debre Zeit for protest.
What is clear is that he has been a vocal critic of the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. He particularly declared in the open that Abiy’s government would be illegal beyond September 30 on grounds that it would not have a constitutional basis.
His supporters seem to link his arrest to his critique of Abiy Ahmed’s government.
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