Association demands the premier to withdraw statement on judges
The Amhara Region Judges’ Association slams Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) for his recent comment, describing judges, police forces, and public prosecutors as “thieves.”
Earlier this week, Abiy, addressing the Parliament on issues of theft, mentioned judges as the number one “thieves,” signifying the area requires the highest of institutional reforms.
Abiy described the justice system as a sanctuary of thieves saying “As if we know nothing and supposing the reform will not touch them, we have multiple sources that judges are stealing.”
Similarly, he mentioned public prosecutors as the secondary thieves.
“We expect them to safeguard the law, but they are corrupt, they take money from the people and forget to protect the law,” said Abiy, promising to conduct a serious reform.
Referring to the significance of a serious reform, Abiy asked the Parliament to conduct reforms around courts and the justice system.
According to Abiy, the third and fourth thieves are police forces and auditors. “We hire auditors to inspect and bring back looted money, but they are intimidating institutions and individuals to manipulate the system to line their own pockets, while they are supposed to audit institutions legally,” Abiy said.
Forces that are presumed to avoid theft and protect the law are becoming dangerous in manipulating the legal system for their own sake, according to Abiy, lamenting the Anti-Corruption Commission and other institutions as the cause for thefts to increase.
While the government is working to make courts independent, free and ethically well-mannered, few judges are acting inappropriately to misuse the law unjustly, the Association said in a statement issued on June 16, 2022.
The association is working closely by gathering sources and identifying judges, who have been found misusing the law, to hold them accountable. However, there are many judges working day and night to serve the public.
Abiy’s speech stating a wide-range of theft, rather than referring to a few judges, put all in one basket and painted them with the same brush in a live broadcast, not taking into account the adverse effects of the label put on the institutions.
The Association also mentioned Abiy’s speech designating judges as thieves and corrupted, as lacking appropriateness and needs a special query to identify the problem.
From the natural behavior of courts, the speech has a context of creating mistrust, tarnish the courts’ image, putting down and demoralizing well-mannered judges and their families. It also creates suspicion on international investors who aspire to invest, read the statement.
The judge cited Abiy’s speech as hasty and does not consider the Amhara regional states present situation; adding, the substance of the speech comprises inappropriate messages to the public.
The Association called on regional courts and judges to continue doing their job without being influenced by Abiy’s speech, and asked the PM to withdraw his statement.