Home | News    Thursday 17 December 2009

Ethiopia grants pardon to former opposition figures

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

December 16, 2009 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Ethiopian government granted pardon to ten while revoked to four former leaders and members of the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD),who were convicted of dismantling the national constitution through force. In statement, the ministry of justice said on Wednesday.

The Ethiopian president, Girma Weldogiorgs approved the grant, after he looked into the recommendations presented by country’s pardon board.

The defendants "requested clemency from the people and the government of Ethiopia". The statement said adding that the Ethiopian Pardon Board examined the request of the defendants thoroughly and considered the preconditions go well along with the rule of law.

The defendants said they "took responsibility individually and collectively for their mutinous move against the constitutional order" the statement from the Ministry of Justice further said.

According to the statement, the now granted former opposition leaders pledged they would "respect the constitution and protect it from any unlawful act."

Meanwhile, the Ministry said that a pardon grant earlier approved to four former CUD leaders and members is revoked after a review was made by the board and recommendation were then presented to the president.

It said the defendants "committed repeated crime and failed to respect their own preconditions when they requested clemency."