On 15 December 2017, the court in The Hague sentenced Eshetu A., who was suspected of war crimes, to life imprisonment. Eshetu A. was an important representative of the so-called Dergue-regime which exercised a reign of terror in Ethiopia in the 1970's.
The court held that horrible acts of torture had been committed in a police camp called Debre Marcos. The prisoners were held captive for years, under inhumane conditions and without the benefit of a full and fair trial. The court also found that 75 prisoners had been killed by hanging.
As the highest Derg-authority in the province Gojjam, the defendant was held to be responsible for these crimes. As such, he was found guilty of war crimes, including inhumane treatment, arbitrary detention, torture and muder.
Göran Sluiter and Barbara van Straaten represented six injured parties (victims) in this case and filed a claim for damages on their behalf. The court allowed this claim in five cases. The clients are very pleased with the outcome of the trial and they thank the Dutch investigative and judicial authorities for all their efforts to bring this case to trial and obtain justice for the victims.
It is not yet clear whether the defendant or the prosecution will file an appeal.
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