Addis Prefab Prosecutor Given More Time To Review Pleading Documents
The Federal High Court has adjourned the serious fraud charge filed against two of the six founders of the Addis Prefab Houses Manufacturing Industry S.C – Fikremariam Alemu and Yosef Asegedom – until, February 4, 2014. This decision came following a request from the prosecutor for more time to review pleading documents, Fortune reported.
The two were charged with falsely informing hopeful homebuyers that they had purchased land on a lease for real-estate from the government in the Bole Bulbula, Summit Condominium and Bole Beshale areas – all in Bole District – in the name of Addis Prefab.
The two were also charged with erecting posters and boards on plots of land they had not received, promoting themselves as a real-estate company and promising to build different kinds of houses for delivery within a short period of time.
Another charge brought against them was collecting around 4.8 million Br from the plaintiffs through the Company’s account by promising them that they would provide them with real estate. The prosecutor also claimed that the founders had started collecting money, beginning in 2011, although Addis Prefab was only established in November 2012. The Company has not received any land in the Bole District, the prosecutor also argued.
During its session, held on Thursday, January 30, 2014, to listen to the pleading of the defendants, the latter’s attorneys submitted statements of defense. Fikremariam’s attorney presented a two-page-long statement of defense, which was written on January 20, 2014. One page is devoted to the listing of evidence and the other contains details of the evidence. The attorney also submitted 17 pages of documentary evidence.
The attorneys of Yosef submitted two statements of defense individually. The presiding judge, however, ordered them to combine it and submit only one statement of defense.
The attorneys said they could not combine the two statements, citing busy schedules with other court cases. They said they will take the responsibility if the documents contradicted each other, but the judge declined to accept their request. The judge ordered them to submit only one statement.
After discussing for several minutes, the attorneys decided to submit only one of the statements.
The attorneys of both defendants submitted their defense statements with only two copies. The judge ordered them to add one more copy of both the defense statements and supporting documents.
The prosecutor requested that the Court give him more time to review the defense statements. The judge accepted the request and adjourned the case until February 11, 2014, after consultation with both the attorneys.
Fikremariam was dressed in a white sweater and jeans, while Yosef wore a black sweater and jeans. Both wore sandals.
Addis Prefab was established in February 2009, with an initial capital of 42.9 million Br, by six co-founders: Gezahagn Yaineshet, Yosef Asegedom, Fikremariam Alemu, Tigist Atenafu, Semayawit Gebere michael and Tesfaye Wobeshet. It had 861 people registered on its shareholder list by the end of 2013. The company was operating in the real estate, manufacturing, construction and trading sectors.