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Ethiopia denies fake footage claims

The Local/rm · 14 Sep 2012, 08:16

Published: 14 Sep 2012 08:16 GMT+02:00

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“Why would we try to trick ourselves with a faked video? Our soldiers took them in and made sure that they were given a fair trial,” said Mulugeleta Ayalew, of the Ethiopian ministry of justice’s pardoning committee to SR.

The only evidence presented was that given to them by the soldiers who arrested the two Swedes in the Ogaden province:

“We got our only information from the soldiers who found them, it was no trap,” Ayalew said to SR, adding:

“I think…”

Neither did Ayalew believe that the trial was meant to serve as a warning to other foreign journalists thinking about reporting from Ogaden.

“The Ethiopian government has no reason to stop you from going there, as long as you have all permits in order. Ethiopia is an open country where everyone can move freely,” he told SR.

Ayalew told SR that their pardoning should be seen as a sign of goodwill between Sweden and Ethiopia, and may even serve to strengthen ties between the two countries.

Schibbye and Persson were arrested last year with rebels from the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) after illegally entering Ethiopia from Somalia.

Story continues below…

The Swedes were in the remote southeastern region of Ogaden, populated mainly by ethnic Somalis, reportedly to investigate the activities of a company affiliated with the Swedish oil firm Lundin Petroleum.

The two Swedes were released from Ethiopian jail on Monday and after recuperating in another country for a few days will touch down on Swedish soil and be reunited with loved ones on Friday.

The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:51 September 14, 2012 by RobinHood
Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Ethiopia as among the world's most corrupt places, with a score of 2.7 out 10, ranking it as "extremely corrupt".

The Global Financial Integrity Study for the decade ending 2009 showed more money was siphoned by politicians out of the country to tax havens, than was earned by Ethiopia through exports; every dollar Ethiopia earned, and more, was stolen. The report concluded that corruption is getting much, much worse.

In 2008, it was discovered that the Ethiopian's national bank's gold reserves had been replaced with steel bars painted with gold paint. Faking things for economic gain seems to be a habit in Ethiopia. A bit of dodgy film editing to ensure a terrorist conviction and a consequent nice fat injection of Swedish "international aid", is perfectly believable.

Swiss bank managers can expect a large deposit of Swedish tax payer's money anytime soon. They can put it next to the real gold.
09:19 September 14, 2012 by themoron
themoron says:

Beautiful! The two Swedish "journalists" were pardoned and now they are biting the hand that pardoned them. Why did not they opened their mouths about this "fake" footage?

And we are not discussing here how corrupted is Ethiopia or whatever. They were pardoned together with other 1,948 convicted criminals, rapists, pedophiles and...

They should be grateful that Sweden paid around 66 millions crowns during the year they were in jail. Sweden gave Ethiopia a total of 252 millions during 2011. The money, as Robin Hood implies, was Swedish taxpayer's money. It did not come neither from Carl "Lundin" Bildt, nor from Fredrik "Snoopy" Reinfeldt.

As Mulugeleta Ayalew, of the Ethiopian ministry of justice's pardoning committee declared to SR.,

""Why would we try to trick ourselves with a faked video? Our soldiers took them in and made sure that they were given a fair trial,"

A thing is quite clear now: Sweden truly believes that it can fix the world with money. In the case with the Swedish "journalists", it did.

Now, I expect other countries to follow the line: Kidnapp citizens of other countries and expect a huge ransom for them.
12:17 September 14, 2012 by Swissbank
If swedish pay money for freeing their citizen then Swedish also corrupted just like Ethiopia
13:10 September 14, 2012 by prince T
There is never a smoke without fire. The late leader has a penchant for ruthlessness. US tolerated him bc of the help he was rendering in somalia. The video cannot be far from the truth. I Överhuvudtaget tror jag att de killarna skulle hålla käften och gå vidare med sina liv
15:37 September 14, 2012 by M/amin
-Shame on you. Mulugeleta Ayelew. Look at you. How can you expect to have improved relationship. the fabricated evidence used against Johan and MartinInstead will never be forgotten. Instead Ethíopia should apologise to Swedish govenment and its citizens and the relatives of the humilated journlists, then you can talk of strengthening relationship
16:12 September 14, 2012 by BlackLion
Again, the guys went to jail because they

1) broke the law by illegally crossing borders

2) they were there to promote armed rebels at war

One does not need any video - fake or real for that matter. They were caught in Ogaden in a war zone with rebels. If you have any proof this is not true, let's see.

It is good to let them go - one because of Ethiopia's centuries-old tradition of forgiveness and also in solidarity to the people of Sweden and their families.

I think this is reasonable and the right thing to do.

If you think you can promote war in Africa by promoting aimless lunatic tribal armed rebellion, and then expect that you can use your money and European political influence to cry foul when you are caught red-handed, I beg to differ!!! Ethiopia may be poor but make no mistake - she never compromised on her sovereignty and independence!
01:10 September 15, 2012 by Munir Ahmed
History of Somali-Ogaden terrorists the leftist Swedish reporters championed as freedom fighters and hired as guides for illegal border crossing:

BBC NEWS: 74 Chinese & Ethiopian oil workers machine-gunned asleep in bed.


REUTERS NEWS: UN workers ambushed, killed, kidnapped

03:57 September 17, 2012 by cleanslate
I am F#$king tired of Ethiopian government paid comment-ers, coming and filling any Ethiopia related article with bogus comments. Everybody by now knows that the Ethiopian people do not want this government. The government is repressing their people same as N. Korea does. The only reason why they are not openly disregarded is because of the stupid alliance they have for the stupid War-on-terror. They don't ask any question when they are told to go and invade Somalia, they do that in return for a blind eye when they rob the country in broad day light. Thank God time is up now! Kenya has shown that they can be the better ally to the west by being more democratic to their people, so now that Kenya is replacing Ethiopia in that front, they will have no use for them, we will see how the cruel Eth government going to fare without a continuous cover up from their friends in the west, and that includes Sweden, the only reason why they weren't hard on them to release these journalists earlier. And the silly TPLF-ites believe that the journalists are pardoned by Ethiopia, the Swedish FM knew they were going to be released, and they didn't just want to lose face so they made sure it coincides with the Eth. New year, if any one of you believed that Ethiopia was going to make them serve the whole 11 years, you must be dreaming! Even the terrorism law they just concocted is an assault to the constitutional right of all Ethiopian citizens, and wouldn't have passed if we had a free separate judiciary branch in the country, but how fun is it Democracy in Ethiopia, all the judiciary, the house of representatives and the executive branch of government was strictly controlled by the PM, how is that for democracy? They can pass a law overnight if they want to and they did it before. So bottom line for whatever undemocratic ways of this government, the Ethiopian people are no part of it and we all can't wait till they all are gone forever!
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