Title: Corruption or Bootlicking? Ethiopian Style
Author: Abdellatif Ahmed
Date: 04-30-2014, 00:01 AM
WHO CAN OVERRULE THE HIGH COURT DECISIONS IN ETHIOPIA?
An open letter to the concerned Ethiopian authorities
My name is Abdellatif Ahmed Abdellatif Hamad, the former Group General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of Ashraf Group of Companies in Ethiopia.
At present I am imprisoned at the Huda correctional facility in Khartoum, Sudan, for a crime that I have allegedly committed in Ethiopia.
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 the following 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 to 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 stated under oath that Ashraf Seed Ahmed Hussein arrived to Addis from Dubai in June 2011 carrying a suitcase fully packed with US dollars. Moreover, that in October 2011 he was walking around Addis carrying 750,000 GB pounds sterling in cash.
- 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 account?
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 involved or any inquiry whatsoever please feel free to contact me by email: [email protected]
Since my family members are the ones having access to and handling my email account currently while I am in prison, please allow couple of days for your inquiries to 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