ADDIS ABABA — An Ethiopian-born Canadian was on Monday sentenced to life in prison for terrorism-related charges by the high court in the capital Addis Ababa.
Bashir Makhtal was last week 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.
“After finding the defendant Bashir Makhtal guilty on all counts last week, the court sentences the defendant to life in prison,” said Adem Ibrahim who chaired a three-man panel of judges.
Makhtal was also accused of supporting a hardline Islamist movement in neighbouring Somalia who Ethiopian forces ousted in 2007 when they intervened to prop up the country’s embattled government.
He denied all the charges for which prosecutors had demanded the death penalty. The defence had pleaded for a lighter sentence, arguing that the accused had already spent time in jail since being arrested.
The 40-year-old was among some 150 people detained by Kenyan forces on the border with Somalia as they fled the Ethiopian onslaught on the Islamists.
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