Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mengistu appeal delayed until July

The appeal for exiled Ethiopian dictator Haile Mengistu Meriam has been delayed until July by a judge in Ethiopia. Mengistu, if you recall, has already been tried and convicted in absentia for his role in orchestrating the notorious Red Terror that left over 100,000 dead, and sent countless more fleeing the country.

Both sides are now engaged in an appeal of the penalty phase of Mengistu's trial, and lawyers for the prosecution are trying to secure a death sentence for Mengistu. They're arguing that Mengistu's role in orchestrating the mass murder of so many people must surely qualify him for a trip to the gallows, while the defense team is simultaneously appealing the original life sentence handed down when Mengistu was originally convicted. No matter the result, it's still infinitely depressing that all of this action is taking place while the man himself is thousands of miles away, living a life of comfort as the guest of another dictator.

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