Ethiopia Bloggers to Enter Pleas in Terrorism Case Next Week [Bloomberg]

William Davison

Ethiopian bloggers accused of plotting acts of terrorism will probably enter pleas next week after a court accepted amended charges from the prosecution.

The Federal High Court accepted most of the charges against 10 bloggers and journalists, Ameha Mekonnen, a defense lawyer for the writers, said on Wednesday from Addis Ababa, the capital. The defendants will enter pleas on Feb. 3, he said by phone.

Nine of the accused were detained in April and charged under a 2009 anti-terrorism law that the U.S. and United Nations said criminalizes legitimate dissent. The prosecution has said that the group participated in the planning of a plot with the U.S.-based Ginbot 7, which is classified as a terrorist organization in Ethiopia.

 In November, the court rejected earlier charges and asked prosecutors to present more specific and clear accusations.

“They’ve said now it’s sufficiently clear but for us it’s not yet clear at all,” Mekonnen said.

To contact the reporter on this story: William Davison in Addis Ababa at wdavison3@bloomberg.net

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