By Andualem Sisay Gessesse The Ethiopian government has arrested 36 people accused of running hidden prisons throughout the country and committing crimes against humanity and 27 accused of robbing the nation's wealth.
"Over the past five months we have gathered evidence about people involved in crimes against humanity in various parts of the country," said Attorney General Berhanu Tsegaye, who stated that there were still individuals hiding in the country and abroad involved in crime.
Doing gang rape, sodomy in unregistered prisons, using prohibited torture techniques, denying sun rays, prolonged exposure to heat and killing prisoners, is one of the crimes against humanity committed by the suspects, according to Berhanu, who explained to reporters in his office on Monday.
He stated that in Addis Ababa there were seven unregistered inmates where the crime was committed, while similar crimes were also committed in other parts of the country, mainly by intelligence people.
He noted that among the objectives of this torture was to make the detainees accept that they had committed a crime and forced some politicians to leave the office.
Over the years, international human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have issued reports on crimes against humanity in various parts of the country, which the regime has denied.
In connection with the attempted assassination of Prime Minister Abiy, the attorney general has indicated that it is regulated by the former head of state intelligence, but not by the institution.
At present those who throw make bomb attacks imprisoned for their direct involvement. The Attorney General said they were investigating those behind the attack and completing their investigation, which led to the country's former intelligence chief.
The former head of state intelligence, which the attorney general did not, mentioned by name indicating that "everyone knows who the former intelligence chief was".
Getachew Assefa, who lost his position after Prime Minister Abiy came to power, is a former Ethiopian intelligence chief whose face is still unknown to the public.
Currently Mr. Getachew is based in Mekelle and he was recently appointed as head of the Tigray Territory security and a member of the Tigray Liberation Front (TPLF) central committee.
Responding to the question whether it would be difficult to arrest the former intelligence chief and now the Tigray Regional security chief, Attorney General Berhanu said: "Especially the head of security for an area, even if he is president or leader, he is not above the law … We are all under law ".
Because the crime allegedly committed is a crime that is prohibited internationally by international law, Ethiopia is a signatory, the government is currently discussing with various countries to bring those who are hiding abroad, according to the attorney general.
The TPLF has been the most powerful group in the ruling coalition (the Ethiopian People's Democratic Front – EPRDF) since rebel groups previously took power in May 1991 to form the current rulling coalition.
But after the arrival of Prime Minister Abiy, who came from the Oromo Democratic Party – one of the four members of the ruling coalition party – the dominance and influence of the TPLF in the EPRDF has diminished.
Rob the nation's wealth
The Attorney General also stated that an additional 27 former military officers, business partners and brokers were allegedly involved in illegal finance abroad by misusing their duties and responsibilities and corruptly running a military company known as the Metal Engineering Technology Corporation (METEC).
He stated that in the seven-year period from 2010/11 to 2016/17, the generals and military officials responsible for METEC and its affiliates had purchased more than $ 2 billion often at prices of up to 400% which were exaggerated / exaggerated on products and services purchased.
This shows that most purchases were made from China and Malaysia through their blood brockers with generals and military offciers. As a result, accused officers and their allies have hidden large amounts of money abroad including assets such as companies. They are also accused of making purchases with similar companies without the right bidding process, which is contrary to government regulations and procedures.
Speaking of local transactions carried out by METEC, the attorney general also stated that the transaction worth several billion dollars was also carried out with family members of officials at METEC and their families and people who had direct business relations with them.
METEC has been involved in major projects ranging from military equipment manufacturing and maintenance to the construction of billions of dollars worth of dams in Ethiopia on the Nile and several sugar factories.
Among the crimes of the military officers responsible for METEC also included the purchase and use of two ships without the Ethiopian flag and conducting illegal business between Mogadishu and Iran. They were also accused of buying five mines obtained from Israel whose government did not know of their whereabouts.
To capture the remainder involved in crimes against humanity and nation robbery, the government will reveal images that are suspected immediately to get help from the community and arrest them, according to the attorney general.