July 19, 2024

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Ethiopian Orthodox priest

Ethiopian Orthodox Priest Pleads Not Guilty in $6M Fraud

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An Ethiopian Orthodox Church priest named Belay Mekonnen attempted to fraudulently withdraw over $6 million from an African Union bank account using forged documents. Mekonnen, who holds a senior position in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, pleaded not guilty in court, claiming he was deceived by others.

Prosecutors brought three witnesses to testify against Mekonnen. The judges heard the witness testimony and adjourned the case until July 26th to issue a verdict. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has stated that Mekonnen’s alleged fraud is a personal matter unrelated to the church.

Previously, the Ethiopian court denied bail to an Ethiopian Orthodox priest and other individuals who were facing charges related to a $6 million fraud case. For the third time, the Ethiopian court has rejected a bail request. Moreover, the Ethiopian court accused them in the $6 million fraud case and ordered them to stay in jail during the trial. The 3rd Division of the Corruption Criminal Court of the Federal High Court ordered this decision. Read More…

Now, the court has also dismissed charges against two other suspects whom police had alleged collaborated in the crime. However, police failed to arrest the two suspects, so the court has decided to dismiss the case against them due to a lack of evidence.

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