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Swedish doctors operate on surgeon jailed in Ethiopia

Updated torsdag 8 december 2016 kl 15.05
Published torsdag 8 december 2016 kl 08.49
Lawyer: New case could drag on for years
(6:29 min)
Fikru Maru
Maru has been accused of being behind a prison fire. Credit: Private handout/TT

A team of Swedish doctors flew to Ethiopia to carry out an operation on jailed Swedish surgeon Fikru Maru, Swedish Television has reported.

Maru, who was imprisoned in 2013, had been seriously ill in hospital with a collapsed lung.

One of the doctors who performed the operation, Martin Silverborn, told SVT it was typically a fairly simple procedure, but lack of equipment in Ethiopia made it more difficult. He said the operation had gone well, with no complications.

Maru was jailed in 2013 and later sentenced to four years and eight months for having knowledge of corruption between a minister and a prosecutor. Maru, who has always denied any wrongdoing, was thought by his lawyers to be close to release.

However, last month he was accused of being involved in organising a prison fire which killed dozens of inmates.

Maru’s Swedish lawyer Hans Bagner told Radio Sweden Maru was in hospital at the time of the fire and not in the prison.

“He has nothing to do with this and it must be some other reason for being singled out,” he said.

He said he was not optimistic about Maru’s situation but hoped the Swedish government would pressure Ethiopia.

On Tuesday, between 50-100 people protested outside the Ethiopian embassy in Stockholm calling for his release, Svenska Dagbladet reported.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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