Mr Lidetu’s Court hearing on 5 Nov/20
Lidetu Ayalew, one of EDP’s founder & longest-serving leadership, appeared before East Shewa High Court in today.
The Court deliberated on the charge of possessing “illegal” firearms, and it informed Mr Lidetu to defend himself by calling defence witnesses. The hearing on this charge was adjourned for 25 Nov/20.
It is to be remembered, on 30 Oct/20, the Oromia Highest Court adjourned Lidetu’s bail application for 20 Nov/20. The Court’s reason at the time was that Lidetu’s lawyers’ oral submission has not yet been completed in written format because the person responsible for doing the job was away on holiday.
However, the Court also had ruled at the same time, as and when the written format is completed, without waiting for the next Court hearing, the Court would look at the bail application without any undue delay.
When Lidetu’s lawyers informed the Court that the written format of their oral submission is now completed, the Court ruled that it would not hear the matter before the Court date.
Particularly in light of Lidetu’s pressing medical conditions, his bail application should be expedited without any undue delay. As Mr Lidetu’s lawyers stressed on the previous hearing, even though the bail application should have been dealt with in 48 hours per the law of the land, it is now more than two weeks since the bail application is submitted.
As the days go by, It is now becoming indefensible. Mr Lidetu is arrested and charged simply for exercising his constitutionally enshrined right – freedom of speech.
This is a big joke and a mockery of justice on the part of the incumbent regime—total disregard for the legal system with serious adverse implications.
Lidetu was arrested on 24 July 2020 and has been in police custody for the last 105 days. He appeared so far before Bishoftu Woreda Court 5 times, at East Shewa High Court 11 times and at Oromia Highest Court 6 times.
It is to be remembered that the police blatantly defied the Court’s order to release Lidetu on bail five times.