Birtukan Mideksa and The Law – Prof. Mesfin WoldeMariam

July 12th, 2009 Print Print Email Email



12. Application for Pardon

1) Any person who is convicted and sentenced by a court may, unless the granting of pardon is prohibited by law, apply for pardon in person or through his spouse, close relatives, representative or lawyer.

1. Neither Birtukan Mideksa nor her colleagues who were imprisoned and eventually sentenced for life imprisonment had followed the procedure described in the Article of the Proclamation quoted above. This is an irrefutable fact.

2. The statement that Birtukan is supposed to have made while she was visiting Sweden as far as I could verify from people who heard her directly, and from evidence of audio recording is completely consistent with what is stated in (1).

The Proclamation further provides:

2) Without prejudice to the provision hereinabove, the Ministry of Justice and the Federal prison commission may apply for pardon for persons entitled to it. Where the offices decide to apply for pardon, it shall deliver a copy of the application letter to the person in whose favor it is to be made.

1. Neither Birtukan nor her imprisoned colleagues received any copy of the application letter either from the Ministry of Justice or the Federal Prison Commission.

2. The statement that Birtukan made is absolutely consistent with the facts as stated above.

Birtukan mideksa, a lawyer by training, started her career as a judge in one of the courts in Addis Abeba. As luck would have it, Siyye Abraha was detained in the notorious Ma’ekelawi and was brought to her court on a charge of corruption. Siyye was no ordinary man. He was one of the top leaders of the TPLF. He was Minister of Defense. He was arrested in 1992 with all his brothers and one sister. Corruption had been taken as a family affair. Siyye was acquitted after six years in prison.

When Judge Birtukan Mideksa heard the charges against Siyye she ruled that he should be released on bail immediately. The police rearrested him outside the court, very much like what the South African police were doing during the apartheid era. Judge Birtukan insisted on the release of Siyye. The regime that failed to cow down the young judge felt obliged to twist the law. It passed a piece of legislation within twenty-four hours barring bail for suspected corruption charges, making the new law operate retroactively.

Whatever the consequences Birtukan became famous in a country where people were extremely eager to see a courageous judge. But precisely because she took the law seriously and courageously, she became unexpectedly famous as the judge who stood stubbornly for the rule of law. She could not pursue her career on the bench. She became a lawyer instead.

So when Birtukan joined politics in 2005 she was already a famous person. She became the First Vice President of CUD (Coalition for Unity and Democracy), and later, when CUD broke up she was elected as the President of the new party, UDJ, (Unity for Democracy and Justice). She was serving in this capacity when the regime, which already knew that Birtukan is a tough nut to crack, hurriedly sent her back to jail.

What did Birtukan do to be sent to jail? NOTHING! Moreover, the Proclamation (No.395/2004) specifies the reasons for the revocation of pardon as follows:–

16. Revocation of Pardon

1/ A decision for pardon may be revoked for sufficient reasons before it is

delivered and accepted by the grantee.

2/ A pardon delivered to and accepted by the grantee shall be of no effect

on grounds of fraud or deceit.

3/ The decision of pardon shall be of no effect if it is known that the

condition for its granting has not been met.

4/ When the decision of pardon is rendered ineffective under sections (2) or

(3) of this Article, the Board shall order the return of the grantee to the place where he was before he obtained it.

Obviously, none of the reasons stated in 1/, 2/ and 3/ apply to Birtukan. She is a person who has a very deep respect for the law. There cannot be any suspicion of fraud or deceit. She has certainly not violated any condition of the pardon she received.

Even if there were any valid legal reason for revoking the pardon, the provision provided in the Proclamation has not been met.

17. Procedure Required for Revocation

1/ When a cause for revocation of pardon exists, the grantee shall be furnished with a written notice of such cause in a language he understands clearly

2/ The grantee may, within twenty days from the day of receipt of such notice, submit his reply against it.

Neither of these two procedures was applied in accordance with the law in the case of Birtukan Mideksa.

Furthermore, the fact that she is held in solitary confinement and the fact that she is not allowed any visitors other than her mother and her four-year old daughter are additional extra-judicial measures taken against Birtukan. Even after the court ruled that she, like all the other prisoners, has a right to visitors the prison authorities have not yet complied with the ruling.

When the law becomes an expedient instrument of policy, it ceases to be just; it ceases to be predictable; it ceases to be a factor of stability. The law must be equally useful to all citizens who have a right to rely on the law in their daily lives. The law is the foundation for social, political and economic stability.

  1. yikerbelen
    | #1

    Well cultured,well educated judge wise , intellectual and the queen of Ethiopia Judge Birtukan Midkessa is the victum of shameless narrow minded criminals who have been ruling that greate nation under jungle law.The foreign mecerenaries have imprisoned Judge Birtukan for two reasons. when the criminals leaders melese accused seye and brought to his fake court, Judge Birtukan checked all the documents which were filed by melese and his gangs and she applied[put] the law in place and said to seye’ you are free and you can follow your case from your house” that was so un expected from weyane’s gangs camp. weyanes see every body like dereje mekonnen, shemele kemale and other their dogs. after that movement Judge Birtukan midkessa was under criminals target. just they have been waiting for such a time to accuse her and revenge. they are doing now. .2. TPLF knows very well that after 2005 election, Judge Birtukan Midkessa is becoming very popular , her firm and principled move showed to TPLF a red light . They know for sure with out charging and arresting her, TPLF will be out of minilik’s palace with out doubt. so the gangisters have discussed together in bereket’s house and decided the same day to arrest her. THEY DID IT.

  2. ሰሎሞን
    | #2

    እምነት በኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ አንድነት እንጂ በኦባማ መሆን የለበትም መለስና ቡቹሎቹን ማውረድና ማባረር የሚቻለው ለአንድ አላማና ግብ ሁሉም ህዝብ ሆ ብሎ ሲነሳ ነው የህዝብን ሃይል የሚበትን ማንም የወታደር ሃይል አይተን ስለማናውቅ አሁንም ሆ በማለት መነሳት ነው ችግር ርሃብና ሰላም ባልሰፈነበት አገር መልሱ አንገዛም መለትን ይመረጣል ሰንጋተራ አራትኪሎም ይሁን ፕያሳ መርካቶም ይሁን መካኒሳ እምቢ ለወያነ ቡቹሎች እምቢ ለውሽታም መለስ ብለው መነሳት አለባቸው ኦባማ ኢትዮጵያዊ አይደለም አመሪካዊ ነው ስለዚ የአሚሪካውያንን ጥቅም እንጂ የኢትዮጵያን ጥቅም ይጠብቃል ብሎ ማሰብ የዋህነት ነው
    ድል ለብዙው ህዝብ

  3. ቢላላ
    | #3

    አዎ አዎ አዎ አዎ

  4. ገብሪል አበበ ዘብሂረ ኢትዮፕያ.
    | #4

    ችግሩ የኛ የኢትዮፕያ ህዝብ ለጥቅሙንና ማትሪያልስት እንደሊላዉ አገር ተንስቶ ሚትመንግስት ቀርቶ አንድ አደራሽ ዉስጥ ስብሰባ ማረግ የሚፈራ ህዝብ ሰልሆነ የመልስ ጀነራሎች ያስሩትን ቢዉልዲንድ እያደንቀ ኢትዮፕያ አዲስ አበባ የትስሩት ቢቶችና የትስሩት ቢልዲንጎች ያድንቅ እንጂ ባይሁት አስትያየት ወሪ ዝም ብላችሁ አወሩ እንጂ መልሰን አወርዳልሁ ማለት እርም ነዉ ሰላምዊ ሰለፍ ለማረግ የፈራ ሰዉ መንግስት አወርዳለሁ ማለት መንግስቱ ሃይለማርያምን ክዘባቦዪ አስምጣልሁ ማልት ነው:

  5. Semay
    | #5

    Respond to the woyane/Tigrean Ethnic policy and killil stupid/blind/sick Tigrean supporters.

    Z/ Mike

    You are talking too much around. Why don’t you go ahead to the point if really you want to bring something good to Ethiopia?
    You know, we know and the international community knows that the TPLF/Tigrean evil Ethnic policy and Kilil is the source of everything Ethiopia has been through since TPLF/woyane/Tigreans took power through Coup Deta.

    Who created, feed, trained you to kill innocent Ethiopians and destroy the nation and brought you Addis? That is your master, Issayas. In return you landlocked Ethiopia, You introduced Ethnic policy, you divided the nation with kilil and you took from Gonder and wollo the vast and fertile land illegally and by force. You are the only one have saying for everything in Ethiopia for 18 years.

    You are ruling the nation based on Ethnicity. Yet, you Tigreans only 4% of the Ethiopian population are holding every high and best position the nation has. 22 out of 23 generals are Tigreans. 97% solders are none Tigreans.
    I’m saying this here because of I’m assuming you know the truth about the woyane fake/all lies so called Censor. In their Ethnic policy and kilil agenda, playing dirty games with the number of population in each Ethnic group is the key they are doing this all along. Those Ethnic groups feared by woyane thinking they would stop them from destroying Ethiopia (the Amharas, Gurages, Sidamas and others) are the woyane censor and kilil victims. They have done this to weaken them/reduce their number in the woyane Ethnic parliament.

    During Teodros, Yohannes, Menilik, H.Selassie and dergue era, the Amharas were the majorities for more than 130 years. The day after you took power through coup, the Amharas became no longer the majority. You wanted to take that title for yourself. But it was/is impossible as we all know you are only 4% and you gave the title to the Oromos knowing you can have them with you to use them like slaves in the campaign against Ethiopia. But, 99% the Oromo knows how you Tigreans are evil. If the Amharas are not there to protect you as big brothers, they and others will eliminate you with the Rwandan stile with in a day. But, you are dogs; instead you are badly affecting/hurting the Amharas in many ways ever since you took power. You are now too close to pass the forgiveness line. .
    So, are you telling us about these With Ethnicity and kilil sick woyane so called generals have to lead the none Tigreans Ethiopian solders to kill them as they did in badme? We know how they killed them in Badme. Forcing them to walk on mines and directly on shabia defenses on day time and walking.
    You/Tigreans are the one landlocked Ethiopia. Issayas and Meles were exchanging with hand written letters to protect their evil secret against Ethiopia from their secretaries and close allies. We know the woyane and shabian relationship until 1998. You together committed the unforgettable crimes against innocent Ethiopians.

    Before talking about Shabia/Assab and bla bla, remove meles and the dementia and all time liability in the name of Tigry Crazy boy Sebhat from the place they are spreading poison among the Ethiopian people. Thanks to the new USA policy, Ethiopians will reject completely the evil woyane/Tigrean Ethnic policy and kilil. Blacks, whites, Asians, Latinos and all races and Ethnic groups coming from all over the world are living and making USA the best place to live. You very sick Tigreans which are only 4% of the Ethiopian people are forcing the Ethiopian people to accept your Ethnic and Kilil agenda created to divide and rule.. Human race all over the western world is living and doing together, In Ethiopia you are dividing the nation based on Ethnicity which is in the same race. You are very sick, man. I have no idea what kind brain you have. I’m sure it is not a brain in the 21-century.

    TPLF/woyane is the unbelievable and worst organized crime in state level affecting the whole nation for 18 years. I admire the Ethiopian people for their believe in God against these satanic Tigreans. The people know that soon rather than later these barbaric TPLF will leave the crime seen they are committing holding all important sectors the nation has.

    halafi Menged

    “Kunama will join Tigray Kunama, Saho will join Tigray Saho automatically, Afar will join Afar Ethiopians automatically and the Tigre will listen to us so long we give them an autonomy after all they are the majority of all ethnic Eritreans. So if all ethnic Eritrean do not want Shaebia and the highlanders Tigriyans do not want to stay in Eritrean, who is going to fight us and defend Shaebia?”

    This is the sickness you Tigrean has. You have this kind of cancers spreading all over your body and through pout your life.

    You stupid woyane Ethnic policy and kilil supporter said

    “Kunama and Saho will be part of the Tigry Tigry kunama and saho. Afar will be part of Ethiopian Afar.”

    Are suggesting Tigry and Ethiopia are two separate states? Yes, that is the sickness you Tigreans have. 45% Tigry territory today is illegally and by force taken land from wollo and Gonder. The Ethiopian external and internal boundary is known in UN since it6s creation as well as OAU (AU). Meaning Ethiopia had 13 provinces and latter on (After 1963) 14 provinces including Eritrea. Tigry boundary is also known in the UN and AU. The Entire Wolkite-Tegede, Telmet, Alemwuha Zuria, Raja and so on vast territories taken by woyane since they took power through coup is illegal and the UN and AU charter don’t accept it.

    Badme which is a piece of stony/dead land became the main source of conflicts between you and Shabia and the innocent Ethiopian people have died with many thousands for your war. The reason was referring the 110 years agreement between Italy and Ethiopia.
    Now, do you think that you can go on your war after taking 45% Tigrys territory from Gonder and wollo? It is officially happened 15 years a go. It might take another 15 years. But be sure, every inch of territory you took from Gonder and wollo after you took power through coup and you introduced so called Ethnic policy and kilil by yourself for yourself will be returned. No one will take rest before this is happened.
    Trust me for that. We don’t have problem with Eritreans. We have problem with you. We will not go far to fight any one while you are inside our home causing all problems we Ethiopians are facing.

    As long as your Ethnic policy and kilil is not totally abolished, there will be no any deal with you sick woyanes. If you want to fight shabia, go a head. 97% of the Ethiopian army will never fight for you. First you must leave and then we will agree with Eritrea based on mutual benefit for both people. But, you deported them with 80.000 in the worst and first mass ethnic cleansing stile in the African soil. Yes, you have practiced this throughout your existence against the Amharas in Wolkite-Tegede, Humera, Telemet, Alemwuha Zuria and so on during your Guerrilla time and after you took power which is happening in those territories today

  6. Robele Ababya
    | #6

    Thank you my Hero! Prefessor Mesfin – the relentless champion of human rights.

    The icon Judge Birtukan has done nothing wrong. All the illustrious leaders of Kinijit should not have gone to prison in the first place.

  7. Ababa Tesfaye
    | #7

    elias, did you notice this leader, when he is oversees he pretend to be shy. He always look down, or acting like feminine. But, when he get back home his eyes pops out like a mad man and acting like he is the absolute.

  8. wendataw
    | #8

    Birtukan is innocent,every body knows that.When the evil leave our mother land we will have all our province as they were.T:P:L:F is losing the power.They were narrow minded when they start as ceasionist and they have become more tribalist ever.I dont understand the rest of Tigrians not to stand with the rest of Ethiopians,its going to be very late for them to be seen as ethiopians(for me i am sick of tierd what T:P:L:F is doing to my country)They use to eat just beles(kulkual)now they exploit the rest of Ethiopian and eat Kitfo,and live in villa they think they can do that for the rest of there life by stilling from the rest.I some times feel nice when i think that they are not more than 4% and they will pay for what they did to us.Long live Ethiopia and death for T:P:L:F.Remember whether we like it or not the peopel of Afar and Aseb is ours.

  9. Free Bertukan
    | #9

    Why I support the release of Bertukan is simply because she is innocent of the crime she is accused of. It then becomes a human rights issue rather than a political one. The authorities have their eyes fixed on her sincerity and genuinity. Their shrewd politics has no room for such a noble character. They cannot tolerate the truth especially when it comes form a young woman such as her.

    I appreciate Prof. Mesfin who was a former teacher of Ato Meles and his friends now in power. His analysis goes beyond their comprehension. Now every one in Ethiopia knows that she is innocent. The longer she stays in prison, the more her popularity. It is sad that Ato Meles does not trust anyone’s judgment including his respected teacher. He must free Bertukan on grounds of baseless and frivolous accusations.

  10. T a g l o
    | #10

    Hello dear Readers:
    About the facts concerning Woyzero Brtukan Miedeqssa, as mentioned above, Professor Mesfin has tried to make clear refering the country`s
    law. From the last 18 years experience what in the law stated is simply
    a cover just to seem democratic government for the donners, more nothing else! The regime arrested her knowingly. Of course she is fisically arrested, but mentally, spiritually she is free and strong. Due to this miserable action she is being famous nationally and internationally as a young social democrat politician. Many Ethiopians and peace and justice lovers from different countries are demanding her immidiate release. God bless her.

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