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Swedish journalists convicted of terrorist crimes in Ethiopia

Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Swedish investigative journalists, Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson have been found today guilty of both terror crimes and illegal entry into the country reports Swedish media.

In what has been described as a very tense atmosphere in the courtroom in Addis Ababa on Wednesday, the judge at the Wednesday's hearing went through the case in almost an hour before he announced that he believes that the prosecutor proved that the Swedes supported the banned ONLF guerrillas.

However, no sentence has yet been given.
The judge, following what the prosecutors have presented said that he noted in his comments in the courtroom that Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson "used their profession as a cover to give the terrorists a form of support.”

However Carl Bild wrote on twitter that "Sweden expresses grave concern over hard sentence against Swedish journalists in Ethiopia. We will continue to work to set them free."

Swedish Foreign Ministry declined to comment on “We will get back on it later,” said press officer Anders Jörle
Maximum penalties mentioned for terrorist crimes in this country is either 15 or 25 years.
It is still unclear whether the judge will announce a penalty today.
According to the Ethiopian practice, it may take another few days or weeks before the penalty notice is passed.
The Swedes have admitted that they illegally got into Ethiopia in summer 2011.

Their presence there, the capture and trial has been a matter too much talks in the Swedish press in the past months. Report held that they went to the country to investigate illegal operation of some of Sweden’s strongest oil company, Lundin Petrolium in which the Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt has an interest and has worked as a board chairman in the past.

Lundin oil already has negative press in Sweden for working with the Sudanese government and have been accused of directly or indirectly persecuting the people of southern Sudan in the quest of oil drilling. This same view was raised by the Swedish press as to the reason why the journalists went to Ethiopia to study the works of the oil company in relation the rebel uprising in that part of the county.
By Scancomark.se Team

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