WHO CAN OVERRULE THE HIGH COURT DECISIONS IN ETHIOPIA? An open letter to the concerned Ethiopian a
My name is Abdellatif Ahmed Abdellatif Hamad, the former Group General
Manager and Chief Executive Officer of Ashraf Group of Companies in
At present I am imprisoned at the Huda correctional facility in
Khartoum, Sudan, for a crime that I have allegedly committed in
The plaintiff is Ashraf Seed Ahmed Hussein, for some known as the
Cardinal, who claims that he gave me 4 million US Dollars in cash in
Addis Ababa in June 2011, in a deal not related to the companies I was
managing for him but with the purpose of purchasing oilseeds and
livestock to be resold on the local market...
As per his allegations, I have supplied him livestock worth 1 million
dollars from these moneys, and since I failed to deliver for the
remaining three million dollars, in December 2011 we met at his
residence in Addis Ababa and he agreed to settle for 2 million
dollars, against which I have allegedly handed him over a Sudanese
cheque from an account of a person who is unknown to me, endorsed it
by writing my name at the back of it, with the amount of 7,000,000
Sudanese pounds, and postdated for March 2012. The cheque bounced, and
now I am in prison for this reason, despite that the report of the
forensic analysis conducted by the Criminal Investigation in Borri,
Khartoum clearly stated that my name on the cheque was forged. But
this should be a concern for the Sudanese authorities and judiciary.
The Ethiopian authorities should be interested in the following:
Before my extradition to Sudan, the plaintiff made two unsuccessful
attempts to get me convicted and imprisoned in Ethiopia, by
fabricating two separate criminal charges against me, filed at the
Federal Police Crime Investigation Section in March 2012, both for
embezzling company funds.
I have been arrested on 31st March 2012 at my Addis residence, some 30
days after my return to Ethiopia from the Sultanate of Oman, where I
was on a business trip.
The First Instance Court rejected the claims and closed one of the two
cases within the first week of the proceedings. In the second case I
was granted bail, and the state prosecution completed the
investigation in June 2012 without pressing charges, so the First
Instance Court released the bail amount paid and lifted the travel ban
imposed on me for the duration of the criminal investigation.
When Ashraf Seed Ahmed Hussein realized that he won't be able to
"finish" me in Ethiopia, he rushed to fabricate this case in Sudan and
seek for my extradition. Extradition that some elements in the
Ethiopian government readily and eagerly facilitated - illegally: the
Federal High Court of Ethiopia in its ruling on 6th July 2012
established that the extradition request is irregular and improper,
that my detention is illegal, and issued an order for my immediate and
unconditional release (Federal High Court 5th Appeal Hearing Bench,
file number 125202, date 06.07.2012) Despite the High Court order, I
was literally kidnapped from Ethiopia on 9th July 2012.
So now I would like to raise couple of issues.
To the Ethiopian Federal Anti-Corruption Commission:
- What was motivating the responsible officer at the Federal Police
Criminal Investigation Section in Makelawe? Motivating strongly enough
to dare to keep me in detention till my extradition, in defiance to
the High Court? Could someone explain to me starting from which rank
have policemen higher authority and powers than a High Court judge in
the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia?
- What was motivating the responsible officials at the Ministry of
Justice to serve the interests of an entrepreneur by defying the
Federal High Court's order? At what level do Ethiopian officials start
having the authority and powers to overrule a Federal High Court
decision and ruling, and defy its orders? Counselors? State ministers?
If they don't, what was the real motive for this servility?
- What was motivating both of above mentioned to neglect to
investigate and blindly surrender the case to Sudanese jurisdiction
when the alleged crime was committed on Ethiopian soil, seriously
breaking several Ethiopian laws?
To the Ethiopian Customs and Revenue Authority:
- What is the origin of the 4 million USD in cash? In the period from
March 2009 until February 2012 the balance in any foreign currency
account of the group's accounts did not exceed 180,000 dollars. The
Birr accounts never exceeded Birr 3 million (that's again around USD
180,000), except when we received the bank loan that I have personally
negotiated and arranged for, amounting to some 70 million birr (about
5 million dollars at the time of approval), received in September 2010
and fully utilized (spent) by April 2011. So where and in who's
account or in who's mattress were the 4 million US dollars kept until
the cash transaction took place?
- How did this foreign currency get into the country? Are there
customs declarations, and at which bank were the deposits or exchanges
done? Witnesses (both of them are residing in Addis Ababa) appeared at
my trial here in Khartoum and stated under oath that Ashraf Seed Ahmed
Hussein arrived to Addis Ababa from Dubai in June 2011 carrying a
suitcase fully packed with US dollars. Moreover, that in October 2011
he was moving around Addis carrying 750,000 GB pounds sterling in
- Illegal trade in livestock. Who supplied him the livestock worth one
million dollars? Where are the VAT invoices, delivery notes, receipts.
Origins of 17 million birrs in cash? Withdrawn from which bank
You may wish to request the Sudanese authorities via the formal
channels to provide you with the official transcript of my trial, so
you could get all the details from the plaintiff's statement and the
witnesses' testimonies. I'll be also more than happy to provide you
with my own copy, if you'd prefer.
For any further details, names of officials and other people involved
or any inquiry whatsoever please feel free to contact me by email:
Since it is my family members who are having access to and handling my
email account currently while I am in prison, please allow couple of
days for your inquiries to reach me and get answered.
Abdellatif Ahmed Abdellatif Hamad
Copies sent to:
Embassy of the FDR of Ethiopia in Khartoum, Ethiopian Federal Ethics
and Anticorruption Commission, Ministry of Justice of Ethiopia,
Ethiopian Customs and Revenue Authority, Federal Police Headquarters,
Transparency International, Human Rights Watch, The Reporter, The
Fortune, The Capital