August 6, 2007 / 3:07 PM / 11 years ago

Ethiopia carries out rare execution

ADDIS ABABA, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Ethiopia carried out its second execution in a decade on Monday, against a military officer convicted of killing the country’s former head of security and immigration, the federal prison service said.

Major Tsehai Wolde Selassie was convicted of shooting dead Kinfe Gebremedhin, a close ally of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, outside an officers’ club in 2001.

"Major Tsehai was executed after his appeal for clemency to the Supreme Court was turned down and his death sentence was approved by President Girma Wolde Giorgise," the Federal Prison Administration said in a statement.

The last time Ethiopia carried out the death penalty was in 1998, when it executed an Eritrean businessman for the shooting of a popular Ethiopian general.

The FPA did not say how Tsehai was executed but soldiers are supposed to face a firing squad, according to Ethiopian law.

Last month, an Ethiopian court rejected a prosecution request for the death penalty for 35 opposition members accused of treason and inciting violence during protests against alleged fraud in a 2005 election.

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