Canadian guilty on terror charges

July 28, 2009 12:00 am

, ADDIS ABABA, July 28 – An Ethiopian-born Canadian citizen was found guilty in a court in Ethiopia Monday of terror-related charges that could see him sentenced to death.

Bashir Makhtal was convicted on three charges mainly of inciting rebellion by aiding and abetting armed opposition groups in Ethiopia and being a senior member of a rebel group.

The 40-year-old man, who has denied the charges, is also accused of supporting Somalia’s Islamist movement ousted by Ethiopian forces in early 2007 when they intervened in the neighbouring country to prop up its embattled transition government.

Ethiopia’s high court is scheduled to hand down his sentence on August 3.

"We will definitely launch an appeal after the sentencing on Monday. We will work on it," his lawyer Gebreamlak Gebregiorgis told AFP in an interview.

Makhtal was among some 150 people detained by Kenyan forces in 2006 on the border with Somalia as they fled the Ethiopian onslaught on the Islamist insurgents.

The trial had been postponed several times this year due to prosecutors’ failure to provide witnesses.


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