Teddy Afro told to return to court next year

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.

Teddy Afro’s case postponed to next Ethiopian Year (Capital Ethiopia)

By Tedla Yeneakal

The Federal High Court 8th Criminal Bench on Monday, July 11, 2008 adjourned the case of Tewodros Kassahun a.k.a Teddy Afro, for the accused to start defending his case next Ethiopian year.

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Teddy Afro

After finishing the previous testimonials of witnesses the prosecution attorney presented to the court, it has decided for the singer to continue defending his case, postponing it for next Ethiopian new year, (October 9, 2008).

Teddy’s Fans
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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.

Many of his fans and family members who gathered inside and outside the court room, were saddened after the court ordered to hear the case next Ethiopian new year, when it opens following a two- month break.

During the trial accompanied by the usual crowd, federal police around the court room were witnessed trying to disperse crowds protesting against the decision that Judge Leuele G. Mariam passed.

Teddy, who was jailed for over 3 months after being charged with a hit and run incident that occurred in November 2006, was first detained briefly at the time the incident occurred and released on 50,000 birr bail, before being apprehended again and taken to Kaliti prison facility, 25kms out of the capital Addis Ababa.

Addis Ababa police arrested Teddy after suspecting him of killing an 18 year old street boy named Degu Yibeltal, who died after he was hit by a car. A taxi driver at the time allegedly tipped off the police to the license number of Teddy’s BMW, which was later found in a ditch on the road towards the CMC residential area, where the singer resides.

Teddy pleaded not guilty to driving without a license and negligent driving.

Related: Jailed Singer Teddy Afro: ‘A Political Symbol’ (LA Times)

Judiciary, Press Freedom in Ethiopia Questioned over Teddy Afro’s Trial

10 Responses to “Teddy Afro told to return to court next year”


  1. 1 EthioDude Jul 29th, 2008 at 6:47 am

    “The Federal High Court 8th Criminal Bench?’ LOL

    The government in Ethiopia should be taken into serious consideration for a nomination. Maybe the Oscars could introduce a new category. The one thing this government has excelled at unequivocally is in the area of acting. Acting like a democratic government but when put to the litmus test, it is what it is, an authoritarian dictatorship. There is no rule of law, no court of the people, rather what this court is a mockery of justice and just an extension of the authoritarian hand. The evidence presented to the court were bogus, but it doesn’t matter.

  2. 2 Gemtuzumab ozogamycin Jul 29th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    ^^^ what are you saying? that he should walk away free? Let the legal process take its course. If he is found guilty he shall receive appropriate punishment. No one is above the law.

  3. 3 Betty Negusse Jul 29th, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    The first thing people should know is that we have not heard Teddy’side of the story. At least here in America, he is innocent until proven guilty in court of law by a jury of his peers.

    Any way you look at it, this is very tragic story.

    First, my heart goes out to the families of Degu Yibeltal. Maybe he didn’t have any family. He was a street boy. I pray for him…may he soul rest in peace.

    My heart also goes out the family,friends, and fans of Teddy Afro. I pray for him too from the bottom of my heart. He was a good man, a hard working man who loved Ethiopia, until evil tested him. He sang about Ethiopia,and cried for us to be one as Ethiopians, he spoke for me….my generation. I listened to Teddy Afro from Washington D.C. all the way to Atlanta and then Denver, Colorado. Teddy keeps me company. I am not going to run away from him just because he is down. Teddy brightened my days with his music, I will be there for him when he is kept in the dark.

    There are some very big questions the prosecution must answer (of course, we know that the justice system in Ethiopia is not corruption proof….some would argue it is actually a “nasty joke”.)

    For starters, how can you charge someone for driving without driver’s license, when he was not even driving the car? (The prosecution says, the car was found in a ditch near Teddy’s home…OOOOO!..WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE? SHOW ME THE BEEF?).

    This is like a bad movie….

    Correct me if I am wrong, but here is what I remember from the rumors (open secrets) flying around in 2007 at the time when Teddy left Ethiopia under a cloud of fear that he may be arrested because he had declined to perform at the Sharron after he was told that he could not sing his famous song admiring Emperor Haile Selassie.

    So he left Ethiopia under this dark cloud of fear that might have offended people high up.

    Then he jets around the world from Addis Ababa to London, Washington,D.C., Los Angeles, San Jose, while at the same time rumors were hot at coffee shops and Ethiopian restaurants that “Teddy is going to ask for political asylum in the United States.” To every one’s surprise, BOOM, Teddy has returned back to Ethiopia.

    The next thing we know the blaring headline: “Teddy Afro Involved in Fatal Hit and Run”

    WOW! WHAT????

    That was my reaction. Teddy what? he did what? When? How? He killed who? GEEZ

    Now this guy is in jail. I give him the benefit of the doubt. He is innocent until proven guilty. Are there any lawyers out there?

    At least release him with bail so he can be with his attorney’s preparing his case, while the judge takes two month vacation. Teddy gets to stay in jail and he has not been convicted yet. Something smells fishy here.

  4. 4 EthioDude Jul 29th, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Tadias please don’t edit my comment, we must not filter the truth.

  5. 5 EthioDude Jul 30th, 2008 at 8:53 am

    There is no rule of law, no court of the people, rather what this court is a mockery of justice and just an extension of the authoritarian hand of TPLF.

  6. 6 biruk Jul 30th, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Something is fishy Betty and it is the government in Ethiopia, every one knows that how can you be so blind Gemtuzumab? The sad thing is there are many people who think like you do…THOSE WHO RUSH TO JUDGEMENT…

    Teddy is innocent. The only thing he is guilty of is raising awareness of the political madness in Ethiopia and trying to bring us together!

  7. 7 Begudu Jul 30th, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Great point.

    If memory serve me right, Teddy left the country freely after the poor boy died. He was here to perform, I am confused why Teddy didn’t use that opportunity to explain his side.

    Let us say….

    Ethiopian Government..is ..Corrupt
    The boy that died….is …Homeless
    The artist in prison..is ..Innocent

    now what kind of desicion we want, something like
    Bury the boy and forget about him.
    Let Teddy sing his way around the world.
    oh yes..Ethiopian Government ..Corrupt, corrupt, corrupt.

    This is not the way to govern the country. i love Teddy Afro’s MUSIC. i am not sure what kind of person he is and it doesnt matter. My relationship with him is his music and that is in a perfect state. If he kills that boy, he needs to face justice, I know why a lot of people are frustrated by the justice system in Ethiopia, But that is what our brothers and sisters go through everyday. Not right, but it is the fact in the ground. I know i will be villified or may be called Woyane and TPLF lover. but if advocating for a homeless kid is making me woyane, Let it be.

    Begudu

  8. 8 peace Oct 23rd, 2008 at 2:51 am

    Can anybady hear?????? NO ONE IS GUILTY UNTILE PROVEN,OK…..
    Judge, would you mind to tell this to your self????????????
    i dont want to say any thing about anything as teddy says “gezie lekulu” it is not My time.
    but hear me this…………
    teddy is innocent
    teddy is innocent
    teddy is innocent
    yap,he is innocent.

  9. 9 sis wob Jan 5th, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Teddy knows what’s best. He knows who does the right thing and what to expect from whom.

    I believe in him. He can face it and this would would make him even stronger. So what I would like to say to him is “Don’t worry about tomorrow because God is already their and feel free.” You’re not guilty in the face of God that is the only important thing.

    I will always love you!
    Freedom to our hero!

  1. 1 Teddy Afro’s Lawyer Jailed at Tadias Magazine Pingback on Aug 5th, 2008 at 8:59 pm
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