Swedish doctor expected to be released soon, lawyer says
Swedish doctor Fikru Maru is expected to be released from prison in Ethiopia soon, his lawyer has told Radio Sweden.
Maru was sentenced to four years and eight months on Monday, but Hans Bagner said prisoners typically have their sentences reduced by a third unless they have behaved badly. That means Maru, who has been in prison since 2013, would have served his sentence.
“Now it’s for the prison authority to say yes he is qualified for this reduction of a third,” Bagner said. “That’s what we expect to happen now. We have already approached the prison authorities and asked them to confirm that he is entitled to this one-third and therefore he can walk away as soon as possible.”
Maru, who ran his own hospital in Addis Ababa, was originally apprehended for allegedly smuggling medical supplies into the country. The charges were later dropped before he was eventually arrested for having knowledge of corruption between a minister and a prosecutor. Maru has always denied any wrongdoing.
He has suffered a collapsed lung four times since being in custody. Bagner said the authorities “know he needs to be promptly released to get proper medical care”.
“It’s really a ticking bomb,” he said.