Judges Grant Police Continued Custody of MetEC Head, Brother

Judges at the Federal High Court granted police an additional 14 days of custody for the investigation of alleged corruption by Kinfe Dagnew (Maj. Gen), former head of the state-owned military-industrial complex, Metals & Engineering Corporation (MetEC).

Kinfe was brought to the court with his brother, Essayas Dagnew, former senior executive of Ethio telecom. Both are suspected of alleged grand corruption involving the misuse of office and mismanagement of funds while working at MetEC and Ethio telecom, respectively.

Two weeks ago judges granted police a 14-day custody in the investigations of the two suspects, following a police request to organise additional evidence and witnesses to press charges.

In the latest session, which began on Monday, police filed a 13-page preliminary claim, with 12 counts of allegations against Kinfe and Essayas.

The procurements of machinery for a naphtha purifying subsidiary, various aircraft, 20 double-cab pickup trucks, various construction machinery and two shipping vessels are among the counts listed against Kinfe, who allegedly approved the procurements without proper public bidding processes.

Essayas is suspected of allegedly amending project contracts for mobile and CDMA network site construction to award the project to MetEC. He is also suspected of awarding MetEC for a tower construction project worth 321.7 million Br without a public procurement process.

Defence lawyers for the brothers have requested the court grant bail for their clients. They also argued that police accusations lack clarity and that the cases should be separated.

After hearing both sides, the judges gave 14-day and 10-day custody rights for the investigations of Kinfe and Essayas, respectively.

During the session, the panel of three judges denied bail rights to Yared Zerihun and Tesfaye Urge, former deputy head and department head of the National Intelligence & Security Services, respectively, who were suspected of human rights abuses and corruption.

Published on Dec 06,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 971]



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