The terrorist convicted Swedish journalist Martin Schubbye, 31, and Johan Persson, 29, was eleven years of imprisonment. This was decided by the Ethiopian court today. Earlier in the morning reported that prosecutors would appeal the ruling, but it was a misunderstanding, interpretation, says Johan Persson’s father Kjell.
- The task is not true, I have been told now, he says to DN.se.
Prosecutors may try the case in the Supreme Court if they are dissatisfied with the punishment was only eleven years fägelse – the lowest possible according to prosecutors’ sentencing.
They had applied for the maximum penalty 18.5 years in prison for illegal entry into the country in order to give “moral support” to the terror stamped ONLF guerrillas and support of terrorist activities.
Judge Shimsu Surgaga rejected the claim on the maximum penalty 18.5 years in prison on the grounds that they were not punished in the past and their social situation, reports a local journalist working for DN.se from the courtroom when the news came on Tuesday morning.
The Swedes got one year in prison for illegal entry and ten years imprisonment for the support of terrorist activities.
- I will meet with the Swedes on Thursday in the prison. Then we’ll decide whether to appeal or ask for mercy, says lawyer Seleshi Kersela to DN.se.
He is one of the Swedes’ three defenders who now have to decide on the verdict for illegal entry and support of the terror stamped gerilagruppen ONLF will be appealed to the Ethiopian Supreme Court. Such a process can take up to two years.
Kjell Persson, who along with other relatives met the Swedes in jail last Friday, believes that the Swedes want to wait further. The reflection period is 15 days, ie until 10 January.
- Martin and John is about to bring up the pluses and minuses to both options. It is not clear how they should behave, and they want as much information as possible before making his decision, says Kjell Persson.
The alternative is the most probable is that the Swedes are asking for the grace of Prime Minister Meles Zebawi and hope for a political process in which diplomatic pressure on Ethiopia from the U.S. and the EU can play a role.
The Swedish Ambassador Jens Odlander left the courtroom without giving kommemtarer, just as after the announcement last week that the Swedes were found guilty of the crimes. Since then he has not given any comment, but referred to the Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.
Last Thursday, the day after the decision, the U.S. came with a stern statement from the State Department in Washington to demand that the Swedes would be released. For the EU it was not until last Friday before a similar statement was made.
According to Frederick Nails, consular chief at the Swedish Embassy in Addis Ababa, has an “intense work” going on since sentencing on Wednesday to political means to free the Swedes.
At the Foreign Ministry in Stockholm to State Secretary Frank Belfrage possibly comment on the case later today.
Mats J. Larsson
matsj.larsson @ dn.se
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