Ethiopia releases Swedish doctor in jail since 2013


  • World
  • Tuesday, 15 May 2018

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopian authorities on Tuesday released an Ethiopian-born Swedish cardiologist who has been in jail since 2013 on corruption and terrorism charges, his family members said.

Fikru Maru, who founded a heart hospital in the capital Addis Ababa, was held in custody on suspicion of graft, but in October 2016 he was sentenced to four years and eight months for tax fraud related to his business.

Though he was acquitted of corruption afterward, the 67-year old was then charged in December, 2016, with involvement in causing a fire that ripped through a prison complex and killed dozens of inmates in September of that year.

Prosecutors accused him of financing and recruiting the perpetrators. He had always denied the charges against him.

The terrorism charges against him were dropped last week.

"Five years of his life have been taken away despite his innocence. Words cannot express my happiness at his release," his daughter Amy Fikru told Reuters shortly after he walked out of the prison complex.

Fikru is one of thousands of prisoners, including high-profile journalists and opposition leaders who had been charged with a variety of offences, including terrorism, to be freed.

Their release is part of reform pledges by the government of Abiy Ahmed, who took over in April this year, and preceding administrations, to end widespread protests

Hundreds of people have been killed during protests that convulsed two of the country's most populous provinces, whose ethnic Oromo and Amharic communities complain they are politically marginalised.

(Editing by Richard Balmforth)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In World

U.S. VP Harris to visit Vietnam, Singapore -White House
Tunisian security forces arrest MP who criticised president
Germany tightens rules for travellers on virus concerns
'This is like a nightmare': Thousands displaced as floods hit Bangladesh Rohingya camps
No toxic fallout from German chemical blast, official says
FBI probe shows amount of chemicals in Beirut blast was a fraction of original shipment
Taliban fighters enter provincial capital, clash with Afghan forces
Belarus leader would 'not hesitate' to invite Russian troops if needed
Hungarian election panel clears questions of LGBT referendum
Olympics-EU envoys back Frenchman on hunger strike over Japan child custody

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers