De Andualem Sisay Gessesse – The Ethiopian government has arrested 36 people accused of leading hidden prisons across the country and committing crimes against humanity, as well as 27 people accused of looting the nation's wealth.
"Over the past five months, we have gathered evidence of those people involved in crimes against humanity in different parts of the country," said prosecutor general Berhanu Tsegaye, who said there were still people hiding in the country and abroad involved in crimes.
Spread of rape in groups, sodomy in unregistered prisons, use of forbidden techniques of torture, denial of sunlight, prolonged exposure to heat, and killing of prisoners are among the crimes against humanity that suspects have committed, according to Berhanu, who reported journalists his office on Monday.
He said there were seven unregistered prisoners in Addis Ababa where the crimes were committed, while similar crimes were committed in other parts of the country, especially by intelligence people.
He stressed that among the purposes of these tortures, the alleged prisoners had accepted that they had committed crimes and forced some politicians to leave.
For many years, international rights groups, such as Human Rights Watch, have issued reports of crimes against humanity in different parts of the country, which the regime denied them.
In connection with Prime Minister Abiy's assassination attempt, the Prosecutor General has indicated that he was orchestrated by the country's former head of intelligence, but not by the institution.
Currently, those who threw the bomb attack are in prison for their direct involvement. The Prosecutor General says he is investigating the people behind the attack and completed their investigation, which led to the country's former head of intelligence.
Former intelligence chief of the country, which the Prosecutor General did not, mentions by names indicating that "everyone knows who the former intelligence chief was."
Getachew Assefa, who lost his post after Prime Minister Abiy came to power, was former Ethiopian intelligence chief, whose face was still unknown to the public.
At present, Mr. Getachew is headquartered in Mekelle and has recently been appointed Tigray Regional Security Chief and member of the Tigray Liberation Front Central Committee (TPLF).
Responding to the question of whether it would be difficult to arrest the former intelligence chief and now the Tigray security chief, Prosecutor General Berhanu said: "Not to mention a security chief of a region, even if he is a president or ruler, he is not above the law … We are all under the law. "
Since these crimes are alleged to have been committed by international offenses outside the law, by international law, Ethiopia is a signatory, the government is currently discussing with different countries to bring those who are hiding abroad, according to the general prosecutor.
The TPLF was the most powerful group in the ruling coalition (EPRDF) after the former rebel group took power in May 1991, forming the current coalition.
But after the arrival of Prime Minister Abiy, who is from the Democratic Party of Oromo – one of the four members of the ruling coalition – the dominance and influence of the TPLF within the EPRDF has diminished.
Making the nation's fortune
The Prosecutor General also stated that 27 former army officers, business associates and brokers who allegedly engaged in illegal finances in the country, abusing their duties and responsibilities and corrupting a military enterprise known as Metal Engineering Technology Corporation (METEC).
He said that in seven years between 2010/11 and 2016/17, military generals and officers in charge of METEC and their affiliates made acquisitions of over $ 2 billion often with a price of up to 400% swollen / exaggerated products and services purchased.
It is indicated that most acquisitions were made from China and Malaysia through their brokers who have blood links with military generals and military officers. As a result, accused officers and their allies have gathered a huge amount of money abroad, including assets such as companies. They are also accused of having made acquisitions with similar companies without a proper bidding process, which is against government rules and procedures.
Referring to local transactions made by METEC, the lawyer also said that several billion dollars worth of transactions were made with the family members of METEC officials and their relatives, as well as those who have relationships direct business with them.
METEC has been involved in mega projects, ranging from military and maintenance equipment production to the construction of the Ethiopian dam, several billions of dollars, the Nile and several sugar factories.
Among the military commissions responsible for METEC are the acquisition and use of two vessels without the Ethiopian flag and the unfolding of illegal business between Mogadishu and Iran. They are also accused of buying five months of Israel from which the government does not know where one is.
In order to arrest the rest involved both in crimes against humanity and in the case of the nation's robbery, the government will reveal suspected photographs soon to receive public assistance and capture them, according to the general prosecutor.