The trial of the Zone9 bloggers and journalist allies adjourned for 15th of October, 2014.
The trial is re-adjourned for 15th of October, 2014 for the 8th times in a row. In an opening defense statement the legal counsels of the bloggers and the journalist have argued that the charges presented against their clients were not procedural and have serious breaches of constitutional rights of the accused and asked the judge to dismiss the case and release the bloggers and the journalists but the judge turned down their request. In a written opening defense statement, which its English transcript available here;defendants’ attorneys claimed the charges signifies serious defects of reasoning, and have incurred incorrect application of the procedural provisions as stated in the Ethiopian law of criminal procedure of article 112.
After the defendants’ attorneys learned that the judge rebuffed their request for an outright dismissal of the case they argued their clients have a right to be released on bail. Again the judge rebuffed the appeal of the defendants’ attorneys to release the bloggers and the journalists on bail. The judge claimed that being cited on terrorism charges does not guarantee a bail.
Closed for loved ones of the bloggers and journalists
With the exception of few journalists and diplomats the trial was closed for the family members, friends and loved ones of the bloggers and journalist. Lack of enough seats for family members, friends and fans was given as a reason to deny entrance to the court room. People attempted to attend the trial have usually reported about the harassment they experience in the surrounding of the court.
Reduced volumes of the Tweet updates
In the last court hearings, people have been tweeting and writing updates on Facebook about the court hearings from the court compounds even though security people have been vigilantly watching people with phones to deny them. But recently the volume of the tweets and Facebook reports that are coming out from Ethiopia are getting slimmer and slimmer.