Ethiopia: Teddy Afro’s prison term reduced by 4 years

Ethiopian pop star Teddy Afro, who has been sentenced to six years in jail for a hit-and-run incident which led to the death of a homeless man, has had his sentence reduced on appeal. He was accused of running the man down in his car and driving away without reporting the incident in Addis Ababa in 2006. He was also convicted of driving without a licence. (Photo via Addis Zefen)

Source: BBC

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Ethiopia’s most famous pop singer, Teddy Afro, has had his sentence for manslaughter reduced on appeal.

He was jailed for causing the death of a young homeless man through dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of the accident.

The sentence was reduced from six years to two years, which means that – allowing for time already served – he could be free very shortly.

The singer has always denied committing the crime.

As news of the decision rippled out across Addis Ababa, groups of young people gathered in the streets, cheering and hugging each other at the news that their favourite singer would soon be free. Read More.

Related from BBC:

Friday, 5 December 2008

Ethiopian pop star Teddy Afro has been sentenced to six years in jail for the manslaughter of a homeless man.

The singer was found guilty of running the man down in his car and driving away without reporting the incident in Addis Ababa in 2006.

Ethiopia’s best-known pop star was also convicted of driving without a licence.

His music became an anthem for opposition protests in 2005 and many fans believe the charges were politically motivated.

But the Ethiopian authorities have denied this. As he passed sentence, the judge said the prosecution was not in any way a vendetta.

There had been some confusion about which night the homeless man had died.

On the first date the singer – whose real name is Tewodros Kassahun – had an alibi: He was out of the country.

On the second possible date, Teddy said he had been out with friends. But the judge was not convinced and found him guilty on all charges.

As he was led away from the courtroom by police, Teddy said: “I feel free.”

Photos from Tadias archives:

taf21.jpgtaf3.jpg
Above: Teddy’s fans at the Rosewater Hall in San Jose, California
on January 20th, 2007. (Photos by D.J. Fitsum).
Click to see hot shots.


Above: Teddy Afro performing at the Rosewater Hall in
San Jose, California on January 20th, 2007.
(Photos by D.J. Fitsum)
Click here to see hot shots.

53 Responses to “Ethiopia: Teddy Afro’s prison term reduced by 4 years”


  1. 1 Eikraam Farhaan Dec 4th, 2008 at 8:25 am

    way teddy, let him live free

  2. 2 salem Dec 5th, 2008 at 1:36 am

    Teddy Afro loves people. He loves his country and her people. He stood for all Ethiopians being equal regardless of ethnic background. These are his crimes.

    When I was a child, one day coming home from school, I crossed the street without looking and this lady driver almost hit me. Fortunately, she didn’t hit me, yet she was disturbed by what happened and asked my older sister where our home was. That night she showed up in our home to speak with my parents, terrified, she was asking if I was okay. I was not even hit with the car. But she stopped by because she was so concerned.

    The Ethiopians I know are people who care, not people who would hit and flee the scene leaving the body to die. I am sure Teddy did not do such a thing. If he had done it, he would have come out of his car and took the homeless guy to the hospital.

    TEDDY is a victim of injustice when the innocent are falsely accused on purpose. He is a hero and peace loving man.

  3. 3 Tokichaw from Los Angeles Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Today is one of those days that I become extremely sad because I am a typical Ethiopian and I love people that love their country like me. Tedy Afro loves his country and the people of Ethiopia. But today, arrogant people have sent him to jail. Nothing is bigger than God. And one day God will give them what they deserve and the time will come when people like Teddy Afro, who are brilliant will serve their country.

  4. 4 Don't Judge Me Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Let’s not forget the homeless Ethiopian victim that was killed by a car? He also has to get justice!

    I am confused by the case though? People who oppose the government are saying that this was politically motivated case designed to intimidate independent artists and voices and it also shows the incompetency and the corrupt nature of the Ethiopian legal system. Teddy was used as an example.

    On the other hand, those who support the government say that it is in fact to the contrary, and that Teddy’s case shows the legal system is indeed working. Teddy had his day in court and he lost.

    Assuming that this was not a political case, and indeed it was a civil criminal case, my question is a legal one. How can the prosecutors present two possible dates for the crime?

    BBC: “There had been some confusion about which night the homeless man had died.

    On the first date the singer – real name Tewodros Kassahun – had an alibi: He was out of the country.

    On the second possible date, Teddy said he had been out with friends. But the judge was not convinced and found him guilty on all charges.”

    I am not a lawyer, but if this was in the U.S. courts, I don’t think it will pass the test of “proof beyond a reasonable doubt”. Can he appeal?

  5. 5 Kitaw Dec 5th, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Teddy’s case is confusing but many individuals (including me) believe that Teddy is innocent. Whatever the case, he joins a prison system, which is full of political/ethnic prisoners, who have been forgotten there for more than a decade. Let us voice together for all of the prisoners including Teddy!

  6. 6 nuriign Dec 6th, 2008 at 3:21 am

    freedom is cooming tommorrow

  7. 7 kato Dec 6th, 2008 at 5:13 am

    Come on, guys, lets be real. If he took a human life (knowingly or accidentally), justice had to be served. Lets not sensationalize this.

    I love his songs and I will listen to them. But that’s a different story.

  8. 8 Teddy Dec 6th, 2008 at 8:25 am

    The prosecution’s case has more holes in it than a worn out fishing net. Here is a short list of the most glaring evidentiary deficiencies:

    1) The autopsy report does not show the victim died specifically from trauma resulting from a vehicle collision. All it shows is that the victim died from blunt force trauma.

    2) The autopsy report showed that the alleged victim had died one day earlier than the date of the hit and run that allegedly killed him. The prosecution claimed the date registered on the death certificate was a “clerical error”. (By the same token, could it be that the license plate number reported to the police by the alleged cab driver at night implicating Teddy is an “observational error”? What is good for the goose must be good for the gander!)

    3) The prosecution has not produced any forensic evidence connecting Teddy’s vehicle to the deceased’s injuries or death. No blood, hair, fiber or any other physical evidence belonging to the victim was found on Teddy’s vehicle.

    4) The prosecution has produced no evidence on the mechanical condition of the vehicle. There is also no accident investigation/reconstruction evidence.

    5) There is no expert testimony showing the deceased’s injuries are consistent with vehicular collisions in general, or with the vehicle damage observed on Teddy’s vehicle. There is no expert testimony in the form of traffic accident reconstruction findings to connect the cause of death of the alleged accident victim to the vehicle in question; and no data were extracted from the on board “black box” of the BMW which retains critical parametric performance data in the seconds preceding impacts of the nature alleged in this incident, and often critical in vehicular manslaughter cases., e.g. engine rpm, brake status, throttle position, position of air bag sensors and restraint systems (which would be deployed in the event of high speed impact with an external object at factory preset specifications), time from maximum velocity to impact, etc. In high impact vehicle collisions, it could be reasonably expected that the driver and/or passenger could sustain minimally some soft tissue injury from secondary collision effects (e.g. sudden tensioning of the inertial belt retractor from high velocity impact, injury from debris, etc.). In any case, if Teddy’s BMW had been involved in any kind of collision serious enough to cause the death of a pedestrian, one could reasonably expect evidence of some physical injury on him. But there is no evidence Teddy had sustained any physical injuries consistent with collision impact.

    6) There is no evidence that at the time of the alleged incident Teddy was actually driving the vehicle. No witness has been able to positively identify Teddy as the driver of the vehicle that allegedly struck the decedent.

    7) There is no evidence that the driver of the vehicle in question was “speeding” or driving at a high rate of speed, e.g. no evidence of fixed maximum speed limits for the accident location, no “black box” data or other expert or eyewitness testimony on traffic, road, weather conditions and visibility at the time of the alleged collision with the deceased.

    The police officers testified that when they came upon the scene, they found an apparent victim of a hit and run accident. Supposedly, the victim had been drunk. They did not see Teddy hit and run from the scene. It was further reported that the police officers had difficulty expressing themselves in the official language, and without translation assistance, it was difficult to follow their testimony. Further, their testimony was conflicting.

    9) Teddy was denied fundamental due process by the admission of hearsay evidence (an out of court statement given by a witness to the police) without cross-examination of that witness. When Teddy’s lawyer objected to the evidence and complained that he can not defend his client in a manifestly arbitrary proceeding, he was ordered to serve 20 days in jail for contempt of (kangaroo) court.

    10) There is no evidence that Teddy made any admission of culpability, and he has always maintained his innocence against the charges.

    http://www.ethiomedia.com/aurora/9196.html

  9. 9 Melat Dec 6th, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    I think your comment is one sided. You must admit that the guy was driving without a driver’s license, and probably he was drunk. As he admitted in court, he was out paling around with his friends. So driving without a license is illegal (no matter which country). Teddy Afro is not above the law.

    I agree the accident charge is fishy..fishy. But somebody killed the homeless guy. If not Teddy, then who? The poor homeless Ethiopian deserves justice just like Teddy. Don’t forget the real victim here.

  10. 10 Selat Dec 6th, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    I agree with Melat. Do not forget the real poor victim. Under the constitution the legal process has gone through its fullest extent. Whether justice has been delivered or not we need to respect the rule of the law. This is a pure criminal case, and I doubt it if there is any political influence. Ted’s lawyers can appeal based on facts and try to fight for retrial. Note that there are a number of cases in matured democracies countries where innocent bystanders have been jailed for life or executed for crime they did not commit. What we need to do is to opt for the legal appeal and prove that beyond any reasonable doubt Ted was not involved in this horrible incident. It is only then that we should say justice is served for Ted. For the time being, respecting the law, I inclined to say that just is served for the poor victim.

  11. 11 Dorowet Dec 6th, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    These days we are so obsessed with celebrities that we don’t want to admit when they make a mistake. Don’t get me wrong, Teddy is one of the most brilliant singers in Ethiopia at the moment. Why don’t you see him like a regular Ethiopian guy driving without driving license killed another Ethiopian, instead of “TEDDY AFRO” killed useless homeless guy in the street? Do you see the difference when you took away the celebrity status from it, then it becomes very simple and clear. So please don’t rush to judgment! If he is indeed innocent, God will help him, but if he is not, he have to do his time.

    God Bless Ethiopia!

  12. 12 Goldie Dec 6th, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Teddy

    Thank you for sharing the evidential deficiencies in this case. I have such a heavy heart right now because knowing that young people who love their history and people who strive to keep the glory of Ethiopia shining through the universal language of music and heartfelt work, like Teddy Afro, are being taken away from the people who love and admire them. It is not his fault just because his song became the opposition’s national anthem. He is just expressing the people’s feeling. He also sings about love. How are you going to convict a man and send him to jail for six years on such deficient evidence? Where is the human decency? Where is the law? How come one judge is allowed (without supervision) to review by himself a complex case and render both judgment and punishment? Why not have two judges with equal vito power prised over the case? It is not a rocket science to figure out that two brains will serve much better than one, especially in such serious matter as the law. If there was a second judge (who is more principled – with real balls – god fearing and educated), then perhaps Teddy would be free today. The only correct verdict in this case is to free Teddy. The Ethiopian people would not have supported Teddy, if the evidence presented against him was solid. The Ethiopian people would not stand behind him if he was truly the criminal. But the evidence is very clear that he did not commit this crime. Teddy Afro is a pawn in a cruel and immature political culture of Ethiopia. That’s why I am sad beyond words. When is it going to end? I think a higher court should review his case immediately (if there is one), and overrule the lower court on the basis of the fact alone: “Teddy was denied fundamental due process by the admission of hearsay evidence (an out of court statement given by a witness to the police) without cross-examination of that witness. When Teddy’s lawyer objected to the evidence and complained that he can not defend his client in a manifestly arbitrary proceeding, he was ordered to serve 20 days in jail for contempt of court.”

    Peace!
    Goldie (Workneh) the plummer for Teddy Afro!
    Disclaimer: The plummer part is a joke. This whole thing is a joke, if it wasn’t for a dead homeless man and an innocent political pawn, who happens to be a superstar that Ethiopians across the world love and respect (who also happens be in jail for six years). So it stops being a joke.

  13. 13 Yitbay from Gendekore Dec 7th, 2008 at 2:12 am

    It was quite dramatic to hear the judgment of Teddy Afro. No way, let him free. Free this young brilliant, talented, gorgeous, golden child of this country.

  14. 14 Selat Dec 7th, 2008 at 6:25 am

    Who is responsible for the death of the poor homeless Ethiopian? Is it people in power who want revenge on Teddy, killed the poor soul and set Teddy up?

    Or did they (make up) the hit and run incident ? Well from all I read, most seem to suggest the first scenario. Well, my question is of all options that the government has in its disposal to nail Teddy for good, opting this seems far fetched. The poor guy is dead and some one did it for sure who??

    Please try to see this incident from the poor homeless soul perspective, and not be biased because Teddy is an icon and a celebrity in Ethiopia. I completely agree, may be once they found Teddy and could tie him to the accident, in one way or another, with this incident the government apparatus did all they can to nail him good using this unfortunate opportunity … after closely following the process of the law there are a number of inconsistencies … it is up to Teddy’s solicitors to sort out this and re-appeal. My own interest at the end of the day is to see the perpetrator or perpetrators to pay the price for his horrendous inhuman act… this goes to anyone who is involved, weather Teddy or otherwise.

  15. 15 Rahel (NYC) Dec 7th, 2008 at 9:26 am

    I don’t know how people get the heart to defend the crime against Teddy Afro? I am siting here and listing to his music, and I am thinking how dare they wrong him in this manner? Anyone who has a half brain can see clearly from the evidence that Teddy’s trial itself was illegal. It is really very sad. It is embarrassing for the government and it is very, very sad for Ethiopians.

  16. 16 Guest Dec 7th, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    This shows you that this is a set up.

    If he is guilty of the hit, kill and run , then he should get prision for life.

    But why is the Gov letting him free after 6 years if the accusations are true?

    Ethiopia is one messed up country.

    Smells like a set up!

  17. 17 Melat Dec 8th, 2008 at 12:14 am

    To All of you out there who think that Teddy is set-up:

    Can you give a single evidence why the gov would be out to get him? Zero. Why would the gov – which is busy running a country of 80 million with a hot war in Somalia and a cold war in Eritrea, development work, democracy building – bother with aspiring artist like Teddy Afro? Just because he did a song the opposition likes? Give me a break! You may not like it, but at least the gov put the evidence against Teddy on the table. Where is your evidence? Don’t give me the old hate talk….I am talking about substance.

    I can predict much smoke, but zero credible evidence.

    Laugh, love, and live!

  18. 18 Blessed Be Teddy Dec 8th, 2008 at 4:42 am

    Some of u said that it is because he is a celebrity that people are standing by TEDDY’s side. But at the same time, it is that same celebrity status that made him judged incorrectly and falsely (and unjustly). This government hates Teddy so badly that they were digging every hole to find a clue on how to arrest the star. People are not one sided and specially so many people can’t be wrong at the same time.You’ve got think better people. Why are the dates of the alleged crime so confusing that even Ethiopian gov supporters have come to believe that there were mistakes made? How the hell could an informant (a police) mistake the date of such a serious criminal event (if there was any?) The dates are changed intentionally so that they can fit (match) the narrative of the night when Teddy was out with his friends.

    First of all, did he even hit the man? That is the first doubt right there. There is no physical evidence (blood, hair, fiber, anything) to suggest that Teddy was involved in an accident. Manufactured proofs may be used. The judges, and the judiciary in general in Ethiopia, are not independent. It is totally under the hands of the ruling party. The courts and the judges are there just to simulate.

    Second, why would Teddy run away while he can easily take the person to the hospital, if he actually indeed hit the man? He is rich and he can get the victim treated. (So the story from the gov does not jive).

    Politically motivated judgments are not new to Ethiopian governments. These are the common tasks of the courts in Ethiopia. If you are not a volunteer to sing the songs that are prepared for you by the government, then you are probably waiting for your day just like Teddy.

    Blessed Be Teddy!!!

  19. 19 Selat Dec 8th, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Guys, please, please get the facts straight first. The fact is there is a dead person. The fact is it is a hit and run. The fact is a crime has been committed.

    What I do not understand is why some of you are trying to tie up this with politics. Why would the the gov go to this extent to just give Teddy six years in prison by killing an innocent Ethiopian? If the authorities wish, there are a number of options that the they could have used to silence Teddy long ago, in particular after the release of his hit song that so much admired by the opposition and allegedly has offended the authorities. (BTW I love his music and I listen to all of them everyday)

    Give me a break, and get real. My suggestion to Teddy’s lawyers is fight back within the law and prove that he is innocent. If all the facts prove that he is in fact innocent, then he will be free, but under no circumstances without due process should he be released.

  20. 20 Blessed Be Teddy Dec 9th, 2008 at 4:30 am

    But Selat, do have a proof that Teddy really hit and run?? You don have the proof and you can’t say what u said either. We may be wrong that we tied it up with politics, but it is real truth that the government does such wrong doings on those not by its destructive side.

    If you can verify by urself, then I can agree with ur comments. There is no argument that someone hitting and running should be penalized, but provided he actually did that. In the country where journalists are forced to broadcast/publish lies, there is no reason that the government can’t tune up the judgment for those like Teddy, who had been all against the negative thoughts of the government. So please don’t try to make me believe Teddy really hit and run just because u wanted it to be that way. He is totally innocent. Don’t be just a dogmatic holding stubbornly to just the opinion that Teddy is guilty just because you people hate him.

    If you are one of those blind supporters of the repressive government, sorry that I made you furious, but that is the way you people are and there is nothing that changes you from what you are now. (Change will come!). I Am sure that day is coming!!

    GOD BLESS ETHIOPIA AND TEDDY

  21. 21 Binyam Dec 9th, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    What a wonderful exchange of thought among Ethiopians.
    I found Tadias to be the right place to share once wisdom, Keep it-up.
    As to our beloved Teddy, his is the true son of Emamma Ethiopia, he has proven himself to that effect and Ethiopians should be proud of him.

  22. 22 D.J. (Worldwide) Dec 10th, 2008 at 1:00 am

    They may have put Teddy in jail, but you can not defeat the indomitable spirit of an Ethiopian, which comes from “Egzibaher has the master plan”.

    Teddy has won the heart and mind of Ethiopians long ago! Ethiopians all over the world will dance to his music and sing his songs for many, many years to come. Teddy is timeless. You did not silnce him, in fact, Teddy Afro just got louder!!!

    Crank up the volume D.J….FROM ADDIS ABABA, TO JIMMA, TO D.C., LONDON, WHAHINGTON, Maiami, LA, PARIS, DIRE DAWA, GONDER, ASMARA, AUSTRALIA, JERUSLAEM…..PLAY IT DJ..PLAY IT.

    Give me another gold medal my Ethiopian athlets, so my D.J. CAN PLAY TEDDY AFRO ONE MORE TIME!!!

  23. 23 Begudu Dec 10th, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Here is what bother me the most.

    In Ethiopia, if you kill some one with a vehicle (it doesn’t matter if you are drunk or not), all you have to do is pick him up, rush him to the hospital, and if he happens to pass, then pay 5000 or less Ethiopian birr to his families (if he has a family) and that is it. It is not complicated, show some concern and sympathize with your victim and life goes on.

    It is not cool but it is what it is. If you kill someone and escaped. It is only because you are greedy, reckless or out of touch.

    Teddy might be innocent, but he will have a chance to redeem his life. Not the poor boy.

    He also got a chance to present his case in court, not the poor boy.

    He was also given a chance to travel all over the world after the incident, not the poor boy.

    Remember this when you attend his “welcome back tour” in five years. The poor boy will be forgotten by then.

    Begudu

  24. 24 Abeshaw Dec 10th, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Tedy is more of a victim than the homeless guy. Hundreds of homeless people are killed by car accident in Ethiopia monthly and the government does not give a hoot about them. And its so happens that the same guy who opposed the Ethiopian government killed someone during a critical time for the government. Any 5th grader can see that this case was totally fabricated, let alone a federal judge.

  25. 25 Begudu Dec 10th, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    Hundreds of homeless people are killed by car accident, and that makes it ok to add one more? What a sad point. If you read Ethiopian law, it is not a crime to hit someone with a car, however, it is a crime to to flee from the scene of the accident. If you fled, then “Jah Ayasteseriyem”.

  26. 26 Zemzem Dec 10th, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Begudu,

    I support the government on other issues, but when it come to Teddy, this was not justice! Period. Are you saying that it is okay for the government to incarcerate an innocent man? Because teddy did not get justice here. Please tell me in which country (in this day and age), except in Ethiopia (maybe china or Cuba), where a judge will send a defense attorney to jail for 20 days for objecting to hearsay evidence without cross examining the witness? Where my man? Where?

    The evidence against Teddy does not hold water. In fact, it smells like a dead rat because it probably is a set-up….for sure!

  27. 27 Ras Dec 11th, 2008 at 2:41 am

    Lion of Judah stand up for justice! How long are you going to wait?

    78 million people under an iron control. For how long?

    Stand up for your right children of Jah!

  28. 28 Begudu Dec 11th, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Dear Zemzem,
    I did not say the government has the right to put innocent man in jail. I didn’t want Teddy to go to Jail. I am not sure why the judge ordered the lawyer to be arrested (even if it is possible to arrest a lawyer if he or she violated a gag order put in place by the court). All I am saying is that if Teddy killed the boy, then he should pay for his crime. If he did not commit the crime, then he should be acquitted. I hated the fact that most of us forgot the dead victim. Equal right for all means equal right for the victim and the accused. Our constant focus in politics seemed to overshadow our judgement in this case.

    I am still not clear why:
    1. Teddy’s car was (allegedly) found near the crime scene

    2. Teddy (allegedly) failed to give us a clear idea of where he was during the time of the crime. He was free and traveling. The fact that the court let him loose until evidence was being gathered, meant to me there was not shady move by the government.

    3. If indeed he was not there during the crime, then where was he? And who is his alibi?

    4. If he lent his car, to whom?

    I refuse to call him innocent or guilty without getting a clear answer for the above questions. Then I will cry foul like everyone.

  29. 29 Zemzem Dec 11th, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Begdu,

    I don’t know what else you need? Unless one is learning impaired, it is not that difficult to see that in fact a crime may have been committed against Teddy Afro. Another Teddy (not Afro) has posted the answers to your questions before you asked them (Read comment on Dec 6th, 2008 at 8:25 am). I have repost it below:

    Read on the comment:
    The prosecution’s case has more holes in it than a worn out fishing net. Here is a short list of the most glaring evidentiary deficiencies:

    1) The autopsy report does not show the victim died specifically from trauma resulting from a vehicle collision. All it shows is that the victim died from blunt force trauma.

    2) The autopsy report showed that the alleged victim had died one day earlier than the date of the hit and run that allegedly killed him. The prosecution claimed the date registered on the death certificate was a “clerical error”. (By the same token, could it be that the license plate number reported to the police by the alleged cab driver at night implicating Teddy is an “observational error”? What is good for the goose must be good for the gander!)

    3) The prosecution has not produced any forensic evidence connecting Teddy’s vehicle to the deceased’s injuries or death. No blood, hair, fiber or any other physical evidence belonging to the victim was found on Teddy’s vehicle.

    4) The prosecution has produced no evidence on the mechanical condition of the vehicle. There is also no accident investigation/reconstruction evidence.

    5) There is no expert testimony showing the deceased’s injuries are consistent with vehicular collisions in general, or with the vehicle damage observed on Teddy’s vehicle. There is no expert testimony in the form of traffic accident reconstruction findings to connect the cause of death of the alleged accident victim to the vehicle in question; and no data were extracted from the on board “black box” of the BMW which retains critical parametric performance data in the seconds preceding impacts of the nature alleged in this incident, and often critical in vehicular manslaughter cases., e.g. engine rpm, brake status, throttle position, position of air bag sensors and restraint systems (which would be deployed in the event of high speed impact with an external object at factory preset specifications), time from maximum velocity to impact, etc. In high impact vehicle collisions, it could be reasonably expected that the driver and/or passenger could sustain minimally some soft tissue injury from secondary collision effects (e.g. sudden tensioning of the inertial belt retractor from high velocity impact, injury from debris, etc.). In any case, if Teddy’s BMW had been involved in any kind of collision serious enough to cause the death of a pedestrian, one could reasonably expect evidence of some physical injury on him. But there is no evidence Teddy had sustained any physical injuries consistent with collision impact.

    6) There is no evidence that at the time of the alleged incident Teddy was actually driving the vehicle. No witness has been able to positively identify Teddy as the driver of the vehicle that allegedly struck the decedent.

    7) There is no evidence that the driver of the vehicle in question was “speeding” or driving at a high rate of speed, e.g. no evidence of fixed maximum speed limits for the accident location, no “black box” data or other expert or eyewitness testimony on traffic, road, weather conditions and visibility at the time of the alleged collision with the deceased.

    The police officers testified that when they came upon the scene, they found an apparent victim of a hit and run accident. Supposedly, the victim had been drunk. They did not see Teddy hit and run from the scene. It was further reported that the police officers had difficulty expressing themselves in the official language, and without translation assistance, it was difficult to follow their testimony. Further, their testimony was conflicting.

    9) Teddy was denied fundamental due process by the admission of hearsay evidence (an out of court statement given by a witness to the police) without cross-examination of that witness. When Teddy’s lawyer objected to the evidence and complained that he can not defend his client in a manifestly arbitrary proceeding, he was ordered to serve 20 days in jail for contempt of (kangaroo) court.

    10) There is no evidence that Teddy made any admission of culpability, and he has always maintained his innocence against the charges.

    http://www.ethiomedia.com/aurora/9196.html

  30. 30 Begudu Dec 12th, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Your source is an anti government pundit. I like his point no.7 (It was further reported that the police officers had difficulty expressing themselves in the official language, and without translation assistance, it was difficult to follow their testimony. Further, their testimony was conflicting.)……oh my God they dont speak Amharic….the king’s language?

    The source is biased, I dont trust it.

  31. 31 DJ Dec 12th, 2008 at 11:00 am

    I don’t know why people are arguing about this. They wanted to prosecute him it didn’t matter if he was innocent or not. This was a grudge the government had on him over his critical stands on the policies of the government. What the hell was he thinking going back to Ethiopia to face the trial? That was a dumb move and that is what he is paying for. Whoever advised him to go back and face the trial needs to go to jail too. This whole situation is as easy as 1+1= 2.

  32. 32 Mahlet Gizaw Dec 12th, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Apparently, what’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander in the screwed up Ethiopian legal system. When the prosecutors got caught with their hands in the cookie jar because the date on the death certificate did not match the day of the alleged crime, they said, OH NO, “the date is a clerical error.” But the judge turns around and allows a hearsay evidence connecting Teddy to the accident without his defence council cross examining the original witness.

    How do we know what he really witnessed? How do we know that the license plate number was not a clerical error too? How do we know that the witness was not pressured to come up with his version of the story? How do we know that the witness is in not an informer?

    We will never know because the defence never had chance to cross examine. What kind of justice is that? Are you kidding me?

  33. 33 ALNIEL (emirates -sudan) Dec 14th, 2008 at 3:15 am

    We all in SUDAN love TEDDY , he is a victim of injustice when the innocent are falsely accused on purpose. He is a hero and peace loving man.

  34. 34 Somebody Dec 18th, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    It doesn’t matter who you are if you do something to hurt another human being, you have to pay for it. Please don’t get me wrong. I love Tedy!! What if the victim was one of your family? Brother, sister or father? Would you care if its Teddy the famous singer or not? Think.

  35. 35 Gidbo - Harlem Dec 19th, 2008 at 1:26 am

    Fact: It was his car
    Fact: He has not brought any other person from his family or gainfully employed by him brought forward as other suspect.

    As they say in USA…if it quacks like a duck………..

    Love your music, but you are a bonehead…..see you in 6 years.

    Keep it up Tadias!

  36. 36 Free Teddy Dec 19th, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Here are some things as I understand them after reading the verdict that are not mentioned in the above posts or are mischaracterized…..

    1. The testimony from the police officer that allegedly got the tag number goes like this
    A. He was on patrol
    B. He saw a car speeding between two Lada taxis (confirmed by another officer that whistled at the car to slow down prior getting to the accident site)
    C. The victim was already laying on the street
    D. The speeding car drove over the victim without stopping
    E. That he was 20 meters away when he witnessed the hit and run
    F. That he chased the speeding BMW and wrote the tag number from 5 meters

    I know we Ethiopians are good at running, but is it possible to close down a 15 meter gap on a speeding BMW by foot?

    2. Teddy had three witnesses that said on the alleged date that he was with them all day until around 3:00 AM in the morning. The accident allegedly happened around 1:00 AM.

    When adding these issues with the autopsy report, this case seems far fetched.

    Demanding justice for Teddy, is demanding justice to Degu. If Teddy is proven to be the perpetrator, he should get the punishment. If not, it will be justice denied for both Teddy and Degu. Its the prosecutors job to prove guilt, not the job of Teddy to prove innocence.

  37. 37 Noah Dec 21st, 2008 at 1:06 am

    Dear all,

    I read some of the postings. There seems to be a gross misunderstanding on the truth. None says justice should not take its course. But should not be manipulated.

    1. I am not a fan of Teddy neither am I his listener as such. That does not mean I do not appreciate his freedom loving nature and his song and lyric writing skills. He has fans in millions, and not by luck but by talent nurtured through hard work.

    2. For those who need evidence that he did not kill the innocent victim, let me ask you otherwise. Is it because some toy court setup by few fellows who do not practice international law correctly and ethically convicted him? You say he caused the accident?

    3. How is it possible that a court would allow the date of which the victim was killed to be altered by the unethical medical professionals?

    FYI: There are three stages where death of a person is registered. Police report on the incident, medical hospital admission/release certificate and burial certificate given by the church. How is it possible that the court did not want to consider these contradictions, but instead asked the medical papers be changed intentionally and ruled by the altered evidence?

    I could write more but given these credible facts, I find it hard to believe he did it. It is simply a vendetta by the government to silence his civic advocacy. May the Lord give him strength to come out of this.

    Noah

  38. 38 Kemekem Dec 24th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Begudu and Gidbo et al, bravo! Good thing that there are still some people that continue to question the facts before their own verdict. You make this forum enjoyable.

    And then there is Zemzem. Mr. CSI, what are all those facts you have cut and pasted? Begudu asks you four very simple questions. You site 10 points that are in no way related to his questions and just about useless. Whoa, and then you mention learning disability!

    First of, calm down. Very hard to understand pissed of people. Tadias has provided a great medium for discussion. So use it with respect. In case you may have some answers, I do have questions even on the first few points you sited.

    Point 1: The autopsy report does not show the victim died specifically from trauma resulting from a vehicle collision. All it shows is that the victim died from blunt force trauma.

    Well sir, unless you have a car with spears and knives sticking out of it, it is common to have a victim of a car accident die from the impact of the blunt trauma alone. Or else megaGNa metaw ? Or an invisible fist ? Let’s NOT look for the BMW imprint on his chest or forhead. That just does not happen.

    Point 2: The autopsy report showed that the alleged victim had died one day earlier than the date of the hit and run that allegedly killed him.

    STOP. In a country where they are asking people to bring their own bedding and medications to the hospital, you are claiming that there is a medical examiner that can be trusted on pin-pointing this event? Too much CSI has maybe misled us into thinking that this is as simple as cutting the trunk of a tree and counting its rings to tell its age. Maybe somewhere else, but I am pretty sure not in the Ethiopian laboratory.

    And we can go on with the other points. But put the Sci-Fi BMW “black box” stuff out of the way and deal with the simple issues. Was his car at the area of crime and who was driving it? If there is proof that he and/or car were NO WHERE near the crime, then I agree with injustice. We don’t need any autopsy, black box or other CSI gimmicks to do this. Just the simple, simple facts.

  39. 39 Zemzem Dec 25th, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Kemekem,

    You are very comic! I think you are under the impression that “forensics”, the science of crime-solving, only exists in the movies. Where do you live? In Addis Ababa?:-)

    That was a joke…don’t mean to dis my hometown. But it is true, there is no justice there.

    Kememem, yeah, keep on “comiciking” at the expense of justice. Forgive me, if I sounded upset, but I hate injustice, where ever it happens.

    Marry X-mas!

  40. 40 mahlet Dec 31st, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    I don’t get it how people relate this with the Ethiopian government… I hate our government and I pray to god that everything will change. You people need to understand that Teddy killed a man and it doesn’t matter whether it was an accident or not. He ran over a man and he left him behind to die…. that makes him a bad person.

    Abeshaw, how can you say that Teddy is more of a victim than the homeless guy? What? Jut because he is homeless, his life doesn’t count? Or what? I can’t believe what you people are saying. Where is your humanity? Maybe you are in DENIAL!! Just think please, the deceased was a human being too.

  41. 41 Gemtuzumab ozogamycin Feb 18th, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Two years? That is ridicules. There is no justice for the poor; the rich and the powerful gets away with murder, no pun intended. I have a personal experience with the Ethiopian justice system and I can tell you it is the most corrupted system, you can bribe your way out of anything. My question for everyone out here is that how would you feel if it was your mother or your little sister that was killed by this reckless driver, who has no regard for human life. I bet you will be singing a different song. Tedy A.fraud should have been jailed for 25 years. The least he could have done was to get out of his car and get medical help for the poor guy. He could have saved his life and would have been a real hero, not the fictitious hero most of you here are trying to make him out to be.

  42. 42 yoni Feb 19th, 2009 at 11:20 am

    I thank God for this news. They deduct the years because they are affraid of being in conflict with the people at this time. They look eager to in prison because the new election is approaching. Anyone who has views contrary to the government will be the next.

    As to Teddy, he will be released soon but what about his future? It is better for him to leaves the country as soon as he is released. Otherwise, he might be killed by somebody.

  43. 43 mahlet Feb 20th, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Is this a joke? what the hell is wrong with…well… everything this is the first time I have ever heard a sentence being reduced by four years. I think this is wrong. He ran over a man and he gets special treatment only because he is “Teddy Afro”?

  44. 44 antonio Feb 21st, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Dear fellow citizens,

    Lets be fair, what would be your response if the victim was one of your siblings? Will you be in the same position? The victim is also somebody’s brother and son. I love and admire teddy as an artist and I want justice to be served to both parties. However, I don’t support privilege for the rich and famous. Under God we all are human.

    Just pause for a second and ask yourself, why teddy? Was he the only one driving at that particular time at the particular spot?

    Did the prosecutors comes out of nowhere to charge teddy without a single evidence but no other driver for the hit and run?

    May be yes may be no! Only God knows.

    Lets hope justice may be served for the victim and teddy.

    Don’t forget we live in Africa if the government needs they will bring any case against you to take you down like w/o birtukan.

    antonio
    LOVE AND PEACE FOR OUR NATION.

  45. 45 princes Mar 7th, 2009 at 5:30 am

    why do people still think that he might be guilty? For heaven’s sake, do you think the government will put mercy on him if there was at least the slightest sign of his contribution the young man’s death. And there is one more question I have, if the government is this much concerned about the life of our brother and sister’s on the street why doesn’t it open the big doors of the churches and mosques and at least offer them a shelter? Why? Why? Why? Just watch how many churches are being built just in Addis only these days. Which one is more divine?

  46. 46 sam Mar 8th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    they know he isn’t gilty

  47. 47 sweet Mar 14th, 2009 at 2:01 am

    Everyone is the same under the law and equal before the law. This was the fact that the famous Teddy was sentenced.

  48. 48 Miskinua Hagere Mar 14th, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Most of you are talking about how justice should be served…but you forgot the part where we first need a Just government. Also, keep in mind that we need teddy because teddy is one of those real patriots we have…and in order for change to come to Ethiopia patriotism is what we the Ethiopian people need.

  49. 49 yoni Apr 4th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    ok then

  50. 50 samrawit May 14th, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    hi its sam from Australia when is teddy coming out from prison i just want to know this

  51. 51 elisa Jul 25th, 2009 at 3:02 am

    i am very happy i know he is not gulity

  52. 52 Helen Yohannes Oct 10th, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    No body knows or can be a witness for what happened on that day apart from God, so Let’s be fair & pray the truth to come out soon.The Law should apply the same to everyone, whether for a celebrities or ordinary people. The poor man deserves justice.

  1. 1 NPR: Ethiopian Singer May Be Jailed Because Of Music at Tadias Magazine Pingback on Aug 4th, 2009 at 12:28 pm
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