The Federal Court of First Instance, Arada Bench, 1st Appointing Bank, began in closed sessions with the prosecution hearing against the 42 defendants in the Abreha Tekeste file. At the hearing on May 21, 2021, the Federal Court of First Instance, Arada Bench, 1st Appointment Bank, denied the defendants’ request for a Constitutional Investigative Council to consider the application of some proclamations regarding conducting the witness hearing and upheld its decision to hold the hearings behind closed doors on May 25, 2021. The defendants who appealed against the reversal of the decision to the cassation bank of the Federal Court of Justice were also rejected at the hearing on May 24, 2021.
According to the defense team, Die First prosecutor’s witness, former spokeswoman for the Ethiopian Federation House and member of the TPLF Central Committee, Keriya Ibrahim, was charged in court for testifying. She refused to testify against the defendants on the file, which includes veteran TPLF officers Sebhat Nega, Ambassador Abay Woldu, and Kidusan Nega.
Keriya should testify within three days, according to the defense team, the Addis Standard announced that the court had canceled the witness hearing and arranged an alternative date for June 1, 2021.
At an earlier hearing, the defense team said Keriya had been detained for 40 days without appear in court after she reportedly “surrendered to the government.” last December. Police claimed they had won ten witnesses to testify against Keriya about her alleged involvement in crimes related to the leadership of the TPLF by holding consultations and giving instructions on how to implement them. Later in March, federal police told a federal court that Keriya had already been released from custody.