Saudi embassy linked with terrorist funding in Ethiopia
The wife of a senior Ethiopian politician was on Monday charged with funnelling money from the Embassy of Saudi Arabia to Islamist terror groups, at a hearing at the Ethiopian Federal High Court, on Monday.
Habiba Mohammed, wife of former Minister for the Civil Service Junedin Sado, was one of 29 Muslim activists accused of criminal conspiracy to commit unspecified acts of terrorism -- charges that could attract the death penalty.
Those arrested were accused of belonging to, or supporting, the "Solution Seekers of the Muslim Community's Problems", a group that the prosecution contended is a terrorist organisation. Lawyers for the accused denied the charges.
A predominantly Christian country, Ethiopia has positioned itself as a bulwark in the U.S.-led war on terror in East Africa and has promulgated laws, such as the anti-terrorism proclamation 652 of 2009, which have an unusually broad definition of terrorism.
According to the prosecution, Ms. Habiba allegedly tried to steal 1.5 million Ethiopian Birr (approximately Rs. 45 lakh) from the Islamic Council of Ethiopia. He also allegedly received more than 50,000 ETB from the Saudi Arabian Embassy to fund "illegal activities" amongst Ethiopia's Muslim population.
She was arrested in July this year and the money was recovered from her car, according to local media reports. The Embassy of Saudi Arabia could not be reached for comment.
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