April 16th, 2008 | Addis Fortune — Ethiopia’s sensational stage performer, Tewodros Kassahun – popularly known as Teddy-Afro – is sent today, April 16, 2008, to the Addis Abeba Central Prison Centre after the Federal High Court eighth criminal bench, adjourned to rule over his appeal for right of bail on charges of murder.
He was under custody inside the Federal High Court, Lideta area, for couple of hours before a white minibus from the Prison Administration took him to Kaliti early this afternoon, together with other inmates. Fans, family members and his agent, Addis Gessese, have gathered inside the court before the minibus drove out.
Yet to be confirmed, he is believed to have been taken to Kaliti Prison Centre, located in the outskirts of the city. Dressed with red T-shirt and black pant, he appeared nervous and seemed unable to focus when talking to reporters gathered inside the Court, but maintained his innocence of the crime he is alleged to have committed.
“I’ve yet to compose my thoughts,” Tewodros told reporters who showered him with series of questions. “Nevertheless, I haven’t hit anyone with a car.”
On November 3, 2006, investigators from the Addis Abeba Police Commission arrested Tewodros Kassahun, suspecting him of leaving a scene of a car accident that they alleged has caused the death of an 18-year old Degu Yibelte. Degu, a street dweller who came from Gojjam to reside with his uncle before he moved out to the streets, was killed on the night of November 2, 2006, after he was hit by a car. Police was tipped on phone a plate number of a BMW by a taxi driver whose identity they were trying to establish at the time.
Later that night, around after midnight, a BMW owned and driven by the singer was found collided with a concrete that blocked road under-construction around Gurd Sholla area, on the road to the CMC residential complex. Police claimed at the time, the plate number of this vehicle was identical to the number they were tipped of by the unidentified taxi driver as involved in the accident that killed Degu.
After he was put under custody for a day, Tewodros was released on a 50,000 Br bail the following day, on November 4, 2006.
Prosecutors have now pressed charges against the popular singer: According to the Ethiopian Penal Code, a driver who hit a person to death and drives 15 metre away from the scene of an accident would be charged of homicide. The court is adjourned for Monday, April 21, to decide whether or not Tewodros be granted release on bail.