Zelalem Workagegnehu, co-blogger of De Birhan Blog, and his two friends Yonatan Wolde and Bahiru Degu, have appeared before the Lideta High Court today March 4, 2016.
The Court was scheduled to listen to one of the defense witnesses that Zelalem Workagegnehu has called, Andargachew Tsige. Zealem named Andargachew because the charge sheet states that he had contacted Andrgachew using different methods of communication. Zelalem argues that he had never been in contact with Andargachew Tsige.
It is understood that the Court took the fact that one of Zelalem’s defense witnesses, Andargachew Tsige’s failure to appear before the Court, now in the hands of the Ethiopian government, was taken as Zelalem’s fault. Andargachew is held incommunicado in an Ethiopian prison and was the responsibility of Ethiopian authorities to summon him to act as a defense witness.
The Court also refused to accept Zelalem’s request for the cancellation of the statement that states he was in contact with Andargachew Tsige, if he is not brought as a defense witness.
Zelalem has also submitted a written criticism to the court.
The Court has ordered the defendants to submit “a termination defense” or a closing statement to the Court.
The Court has appointed them April 7, 2016 to give an innocent or guilty verdict.