On the celebration of the Ethiopian New Year Teddy Afro’s song “ Abebayosh” was heard everywhere. Out of every radio station, taxi and music shop, the song reverberated with its resonating beats reminding everyone of the sullen young musician in prison. “They better not remind us,” was the phrase that many utter sympathetically while anticipating how teddy would enhance the New Year extravaganza coupled with the athletes victory, if he were free.
People seem to despair over teddy’s court preceding that not so much hope is conceived on his trial, despite the good wish in the heart.
Teddy’s first court hearing in the New Year after its adjournment three months ago was on October 9, Thursday.
The trial was different from the previous ones in having a new presiding Judge and an assistant lawyer assigned to the former one, Million Assefa. The trial had been scheduled to hear Teddy’s defendant witnesses.
At the beginning of the hearing, Teddy has given his word to the cournt. “I m charged with the case of someone who died when I am not in the country. The evidence tells that he died on 22-02-99 E.C and my passport shows that I returned to my country on 23-02-99 E.C,” he said.
Eight defendant witnesses appeared and testified before the court while one of them, Dr Laspento, Head of Menilik II Hospital Autopsy Department, returned without testifying. It is because the prosecutor have doubted the competence and credibility of the translators.
In the testimony Dr Yirdaw Ashagari, Former manager of Menilik II Hospital, gave to yhe court, the autopsy examination was made by a Cuban doctor, Dr Lidya who was then working in the hospital. And she has written that the victim died on 23-2-99 when he actually died on 22-2-99 EC. The 7th defendant witness and an internist at Menilik II hospital, Dr. Kassahun told that he works in the position of the medical director in his absence. He was requested & the by the prosecutor and police to change/correct the date on the autopsy document that he did according to the request on the assumption that it doesn’t charge the main contact. Sounds ridiculous, uh?
Teddy’s three friends were also among the witnesses. They confirmed that he had been with them since his arrival at the airport until they departed on 3:00am. Mitiku Girma, who received teddy at the airport, remarked that Teddy was calling him repeatedly between 3:30am-4:00am, though he couldn’t answer for he was asleep. And when calling him on the morning he told him that his car had crushed on CMC road and asked to bring it to him. When he was trying to let the car be picked he was captured by police and went together to Teddy’s house, he added.
Through Thursday’s trial, I think, a flickering light could be seen about Teddy’s innocence. It’s said that “Ewinetna Nigat Eyader Yiteral” (Truth and dawn gets clear eventually).
The court adjourned the trial to October 16, Thursday to hear the words of Dr Laspento with competent and credible translators.