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Ethiopia: Number of Detained Corruption Suspects On the Rise

Federal Attorney General Getachew Ambaye. Source: Ethiopia Online.

This material belongs to: All Africa.

The number of detainees suspected of corruption has risen to 42 as attorney general vowed to intensify ongoing crackdown on the various governmental organizations.

Four suspects linked to corruption cases in housing development projects were added to the list Friday.

The suspects are from Addis Ababa Roads Authority, Addis Ababa Housing Development Agency, Federal Roads Authority , Ethiopian Sugar Corporation as well as Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation. Most of the cases are linked with breach of public procurement procedures and graft.

The ongoing crackdown is part of the year long deep reform measures, and reports of the federal auditor general , public complaints and tips from whistleblowers were the basis to conduct investigations on selected organizations, Federal Attorney General Getachew Ambaye told journalists here yesterday. ” The ongoing operation is far from over, it is just the beginning”.

Getachew also hints the operation would be extended to higher and lower governmental structures and officials based on the scale and magnitude of the evidences. This is not a one time action, it rather requires collective efforts both from the government and the public, he reiterated.

While the suspects would be tried in accordance with the law, those responsible for administration of the organizations at the time of perpetration of the crimes would face administrative measures.

Asked whether the actions are too late, Getachew said that the prosecutor can apprehend and file charge against any suspect only after gathering adequate evidences. That is why the government took its time to garner the evidences and apprehend the individuals. In this regard the operation could not be said too late, he noted.

The suspects included government officials serving in various capacities, businesspersons and brokers.

So far, 32 government officials, three brokers and seven businesspersons have been put into custody.

Upon arrest, the suspects were caught with millions of cash in birr, USD, pound, euro and house title deed certificates, he noted adding that the public should collaborate with the law enforcement bodies in exposing other wrongdoers.

According to the attorney general, the suspects have caused damages worth over one billion birr in cash and type.