Zenaddis — An Ethiopian Court finds opposition party leader Andualem Aragie, prominent internet journalist Eskinder Nega and 22 others guilty of incitement an Arab Spring kind of uprising to create public chaos.
Eight of the defendants have attended the trial while the rest were found guilty in absentia.
The judge, at the third bench of the Federal High Court, Endeshaw Adane handed the decision after postponing the verdict twice.
The defendants were held in detention since September 2011. Some of them have reported being beaten while in prison.
The trial which has been closely watched by the international community has attracted members of the diplomatic community and other human rights activists. The U.S. Ambassador to Addis has been reported to have attended most of the hearings.
Eskinder Nega has been awarded the PEN Freedom to Write award. His wife Serkalem Fasil received the award on his behalf.
Ethiopia has convicted scores of journalists on terrorism charges. Among them two Swedish journalists were handed an 11 year prison sentence.
Judge hands out prison sentences on July 13.
The defendants who attended the trial were:
Andualem Aragie Wale
Andualem Ayalew Gelaw
Eskinder Nega Fenta
Kinfemichael Debebe Bereded (aka Abebe Kesto)
Mitiku Damte Worku
Natnael Mekonnen Gebrekidan
Yeshiwas Yehunalem (Captain)
Yohannes Terefe Kebede
Tried in absentia:
Abiy Tekle Mariam
Alebel Amare (Colonel)
Berhanu Nega (PhD)
Elias Molla (aka Elias Terit)
Zelele Tsega Selassie