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HomeNewsEthiopian Government Proposes Draft Bill Empowering Minister of Justice to Freeze Assets

Ethiopian Government Proposes Draft Bill Empowering Minister of Justice to Freeze Assets

Ethiopian gov't asset freeze bill

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Toronto – In the past few weeks, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration has been relentlessly working on a range of bills that are forwarded to the Ethiopian Parliament for approval. While some bills seem to be intended for consolidating political power and bolstering security measures to protect the government’s power, others seem to be intended for preventing crimes. 

The latest one that was transferred to the parliament is a bill that gives power to the Minister for Justice or the Minister’s representatives to freeze assets for three business says. 

According to the BBC Amharic report, published on Thursday, the draft bill indicated that the asset freeze order would be given if the Ministry believes that the asset to be frozen could flee the country or lose its economic value. 

The bill is framed as asset recovery and is said to have about 57 articles. It was forwarded to the House of People’s Representatives on Tuesday this week, according to the source. 

It has provisions for confiscation and recovering assets whose sources are unverified, provisions about circumstances under which asset recovery will take place, and codes of conduct in doing so. Apart from asset freezing, the provision has also included an article about administering assets. 

“One of the main purposes [of the legislation] is to confiscate assets and money acquired criminally,” it was said. So the government will have legal power to confiscate, freeze, or administer the assets. 

The Minister for Justice will have to seek a court order after three days or the ministerial asset freeze order will be ineffective after three days. 

On the other hand, when the asset freeze request is presented to the court, the asset will remain frozen until a court ruling on the matter. 

Earlier this week the Council of Ministers approved a bill that will give investigators in the security apparatus power to intercept communications and mail exchange – among other things – without a court order. This particular legislation was framed within the context of  “fighting terrorism and counterfeiting of proceeds of crime.” 

Last week, Abiy Ahmed’s cabinet approved a bill allowing political entities that were engaged in terrorist activity to be reaccepted by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia whenever they “demonstrate interest in legal and peaceful political struggle.” 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Ethiopian Government Proposes Draft Bill Empowering Minister of Justice to Freeze Assets of Mahibreseytan, an Organization known by the deceptively crafted brand name “Mahibrekidusan,” to garner support from the entire Ethiopian Orthodox Church adherents to boost its economy but found to be involved in sponsoring genocide in Tigray. 

    Every peaceful Amhara and people from other ethnic backgrounds should support this bill. As long as there is someone muddying the water like Mahibreseytan does, no one will be able to drink clean, spotless water.
    –Stop the Amhara and Oromo Genocide: Abiy Ahmed and Amhara elites should go to the ICC–

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