By Dawit Kebede, Addis Ababa (Aug 03, 2009 ) — The Ethiopian High court today sentenced Bashir Makhtal to life imprisonment on terrorism- related charges during a hearing at the Federal High Court 2nd bench.
The Canadian government said last week that it will seek clemency for Bashir Makhtal if the Ethiopian government sentences him to death. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannu says, Canada has asked Ethiopia that Makhtal not to face the death penalty after being found guilty last week.
Awramba Times asked Officials of the Canadian Embassy to Ethiopia who have attended today’s court hearing. However, they are not willing to give comments about the verdict.
Makhtal, born in Ethiopia, settled in Canada as a refugee and later moved to Somalia. When Ethiopian troops entered Somalia in late 2006 he fled to Kenya but he was detained along with several others at the Kenya-Somalia border.
Bashir Makhtal was charged with being a member of the separatist Ogaden National Liberation Front – an allegation he denies.