Ethiopia releases corrupt official, Ex dictator still at large in Zimbabwe

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Tamerat Layne, Ethiopia’s former Prime Minister convicted by the Ethiopian Supreme Court in 2000 for corruption and abuse of power has been released.
He is said to have swindled the government to the tune of US$ 10 million and stashed it in a private Swiss account.

The Former Prime Minister who was dismissed from government in 1996 was sentenced to 18 years in prison but has been released after serving 12 years for showing good behavior.

The Ethiopian government managed to recover the funds allegedly stolen by the former Prime Minister, who was arrested alongside senior party officials on corruption allegations and convicted of those crimes in what is considered a tough anti-graft stance.

Tamerat Layne is however a key ally of current Prime Minister Meles Zenawi who assumed the post of prime minister in 1995, and Seye Abreha, who went on to become defense minister.

The three men are at the top of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front coalition and it was their squad that ousted the military regime in 1991.

The military regime – known as the Derge – was headed by Mengistu Haile Mariam, whose 17-year rule was known as the Red Terror because of the thousands of people killed in that period.

Seye Abreha was also jailed for corruption not long after Tamerat was jailed in 2000 and like Tamerat, Seye was also given early release from prison last year.

However, Ethiopia’s Supreme Court in May sentenced former Ethiopian ruler Mengistu Haile Mariam – in absentia – to death.

It overturned on appeal last year’s ruling by the High Court sentencing Mengistu and 18 of his most senior aides to life in prison.

The judge said he had passed the death sentence as the defendants had tortured and executed thousands of innocent people, which amounted to genocide.

Mengistu has lived in exile in Zimbabwe since his overthrow in 1991. Tens of thousands of people were killed during a period of Mengistu’s 17-year rule known as the Red Terror

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