A poster calling for Maru's release at a rally in 2016.
A poster calling for Maru's release at a Stockholm rally in 2016. Credit: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Fikru Maru verdict delayed

1:46 min

An Ethiopian court has postponed its verdict in the case of Swedish-Ethiopian surgeon Fikru Maru, whose lawyer tells Radio Sweden that Maru's fate still looks uncertain.

Maru was arrested and imprisoned in Ethiopia nearly five years ago, but one of his lawyers, Hans Bagner, told Radio Sweden on Monday that "the evidence against him is thin".

The verdict was expected today as the court is deliberating whether to release Maru or charge him for alleged terrorism crimes, but on Monday morning Maru's daughter, Emy Maru, wrote on Facebook that the verdict had been postponed. According to news agency TT, Patric Nilsson of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has confirmed the information and the verdict is now expected on April 24th.

Maru, a 67-year-old cardiac surgeon, was first accused in 2010 of smuggling medical equipment to a hospital he was running in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The case was eventually dropped, but in 2013 Maru was jailed again, accused of using bribes.

Maru was acquitted in May last year, but then faced terrorism charges after a fire and riot had taken place inside the prison where he was held. Maru had been in hospital at the time of the fire, but prosecutors alleged he had planned the violence. The trial was held in the beginning of this year.

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