Zemene Kassie, the popular Fano leader, is charged with murder. He is issued a charge letter demanding him to appear before the court and defend the indictments pressed against him.
In the charge letter issued to Zemene, it is alleged that he, along with his unidentified collaborators, killed a police officer on duty shooting him two times with a sniper gun and taking away the police’s gun at a place in Western Gojjam Zone.
He is thus requested to disclose his defense witnesses 10 days before the charge will be heard at the court.
Zemene Kassie was arrested in Bahir Dar on Sep 21.
During his first court appearance, the police explained to the court that it suspected Zemene of organizing illegal groups, collecting money by installing check posts, and mobilizing Facebook campaigns.
The regional police that arrested Zemene requested ten days of investigation time which the court permitted. After ten days police are granted another seven days of investigation.
After the period of time the police are given for investigation, the court ordered the prosecutor to come up with formal charges within 15 days on Oct 11.
However, the prosecutor didn’t press any charges on Zemene within 15 days which was due on Oct 25 and he didn’t appear in court.
He received the letter of his formal charges on Nov 4 indicting him with the crime of murder felony.
The Fano participated in the counter-attack with the allied forces of the government carried out last year when the Tigrayan forces launched a military offensive and controlled some areas in the Amhara and Afar regions.
As the joint operation concluded, the government accused some groups of the Fano militia which it alleged to operate “under the veil of the real Fano” of being agents of violence in the Amhara region.
Zemene Kassie was considered a mastermind of the incriminated Fano faction that went against the government’s call and operate independently. He was believed to have been hiding before his arrest.
Zemene’s arrest created disappointment among some Amhara youth and politicians who believe Zemene is a voice and figure of defiance spearheading the cause of the Amhara ethnic group.