Monday, December 01, 2008

The so called Ethiopia National Information Security Service and the Federal Police should stay out of party politics!!! Said OFDM & OPC in a joint st

The Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM) and Oromo People’s Congress (OPC) said in a joint statement that the National Information Security Service (NISS) and the Federal Police have no right to engage in a defamatory campaign against them by implicating them in subversive activities.

The two parties refuted the joint statement given by the NISS and the Federal Police on November 22 accusing then of supporting the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

The joint statement says that both parties are legally registered parties with many elected members of parliament. They said that their means of achieving their political goals is only through a peaceful and legal way.

The parties questioned whether the two institutions have the right to engage in an act of defamation against parties which respect the constitutional order and strive towards building a democratic order. They said that these two national institutions should stay out of party politics.

The OFDM and OPC also accused Ethiopian television of airing the NISS and Federal Police joint statement without considering the legal ramifications since it violates provisions in the political parties’ proclamation as well as the constitution which protects people from defamation.

In the joint statement, the two parties said that if a party is guilty of having members who have deserted the country, it is another party that should have bore the blame. The statement lists six people including Yonathan Dibisa who were senior members of the ruling party who later defected to Eritrea.

They accused the ruling party of lavishly taking care of former OLF members who were “known” to have committed serious crimes.

Recently, OFDM Secretary-General Bekele Jirata was arrested by the Federal Police on charges of recruiting and harboring terrorists.

The Federal Police Crime Investigation Unit told the Federal First Instance Court on Monday that it has confiscated 7,000 pages of documents that prove that the accused has been recruiting and training terrorists and requested a fourteen-day extension to wrap up its investigation.
Bekele, on his part, said that he is the Secretary-General of a legally registered party and has not taken part in any kind of subversive activities, and asked the court to grant him bail.

Police claims that it has obtained documents which prove the link between the accused and the OLF.

Police also said that the documents show that the suspects have organized themselves under an organization called “Hawi Bilisuma”, and contributed 50,000 birr to the OLF.

Police requested the court to deny the suspects their right to bail since they could destroy evidence that implicates them of complicity in a terror crime.

But the attorneys representing the accused argued that although the Federal Police has already been granted twice a 14-day investigation period, it had not made progress and asked the court to reject its request for an additional period and grant their clients bail.

They said that their clients have been prevented from meeting with family members. Some of the suspects even claimed that they have been tortured.

The Federal First Instance Court ordered the prison authorities to allow suspects to meet with their family members as it is their constitutional right.

The court also ordered investigation into the claim by the accused of being tortured. It also ordered the Federal Police to wrap up its investigation within seven days instead of the fourteen days it had requested.


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