Abinet Gebremesqel Released from Prison After Corruption Charges Dropped on Health Grounds

May 27 , 2024

Abinet Gebremesqel was released from Qality Prison, ending an eight-month detention period. Federal Prosecutors at the Corruption Crimes Investigation Unit dropped their charges against Abinet and four other co-defendents charged in connection with a 1,972Sqm plot leased by Bole Towers Plc in Woreda 2 of the Qirqos District, near Wello Sefer Roundabout.

Prosecutors had accused Abinet, an American citizen, of fraudulently transferring ownership of the property to Mullege Plc for 83 million Br. He held a 40pc stake in the property’s ownership on Africa Avenue (Bole Road), with Al-Amoudi holding the remaining 60pc. Initially, Abinet was held under custody at the Federal Crimes Investigation Bureau on Mozambique Street near Mexico Square before being transferred to to the Federal Prison Centre a.k.a Qality Prison.

The Unit’s Director General, Zelalem Fikadu, signed the letter dropping the charges, citing Abinet's "precarious health condition."

Once a close confidant of billionaire Mohammed Ali Al-Amoudi, Abinet had repeatedly requested hospital visits during court appearances over the past eight months. Judge Yonas Mengistu of the Federal High Court Lideta Criminal Bench, one of three judges presiding over the case, signed the release order.

Amare Ashenafi, a defense team of the 5A Legal firm defending Abinet, confirmed to Fortune his release in the afternoon today.

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