Bizarre!!!

Many of us are wondering and anxious to know what ever happened to those individuals who were all over the media for allegedly being corrupt. What happened to them? Have they been charged yet? If so, how is the trial going? So many questions come to our minds due to the grave nature of the crimes they are said to have committed and since the government was so assertive and “bragging” not to show any mercy and to take serious measures on those individuals who were suspected of betraying the public’s trust .

As I went through different Medias and publications to find answers to my questions, I came across a column published by the reporter magazine which made me feel bleak and doubt the seriousness of the government to combat corruption and bring the corrupt to justice. I guess the critics raised at the beginning of the corruption crackdown on arresting the corrupt individuals by so many individuals and institutions saying it was just a destruction or meant to divert the public’s attention from the different resistance taking part in different parts of the country and it is just a mere action taken by the government to win back the public’s trust. These and other criticisms are starting to make more sense now. It’s just like Melaku Fanta’s case all over again. The guy was charged with corruption, all the evidence against him broadcasted to the public through the national television. It has been more than four years since he’s been charged, but sadly no judgment has been passed by the court till this date.

In the column, published by the reporter magazine on September 24, 2017, it states that the federal high court has passed the last warning to the federal public prosecutors. Amazingly, the public prosecutors, time and again failed to show up before the court when there is a court hearing concerning the individuals who are under police custody for corruption and according to the reporter magazine, if and when they show up, they show up late. It is very unprofessional when a public prosecutor repeatedly comes to court late on any responsibility bestowed upon him let alone on such a big and sensitive public proceedings like these.

On September 22, there was a court hearing concerning the officials suspected of corruption from the ministry of finance and economic cooperation. But, once again, the public prosecutors were nowhere to be found. Since their presence was mandatory, the court refrained from proceeding with the hearing. The court then ordered the vice attorney general, Ato Teka and corruption crimes director Ato mezmur to appear before the court and give explanation on why the prosecutors were late. And according to Ato Mezmur’s explanation, the prosecutors are late because the case needs a lot of work, organizing a charge takes time and said they are also working on other similar cases. The court also asked why an official charge has not been lodged yet against Ato Alemayehu, state minister of ministry of finance and economic cooperation. Ato Teka, deputy attorney general replied saying that the complex and broad nature of the case has hindered them from pressing charge on the suspect within the time period provided under the law.

On a similar case, the public prosecutors have completely failed to press charges at all and provided the court with a letter declaring their decision to withdraw to prosecute Ato mesfin, one of the corruption suspects from Ethiopian sugar factory, Omo Kuraz 5 sugar. So the court had no choice but to let this man walk free. Many of the suspects, sadly, are walking free thanks to the incompetence displayed by the public prosecutors. However, this does not mean they should all be convicted just because they are suspected of committing a crime, because every suspect is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. And it is the public prosecutors responsibility to prove the suspect in fact has committed the said crime beyond a reasonable doubt. But what we are witnessing currently is far from this reality.