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The Federal High Court denied bail request for Kassim Fite, Head of the Land Administration and Management Office of the Addis Ababa City Administration, who was apprehended in Addis Ababa on Thursday, August 1.
During the court hearing held on Friday August 2, the judge ordered the prosecutors to press charges on Tuesday, August 6.
Kassim said that he was abroad for training and returned when his training was completed.
He asked the court to grant him bail, refuting the claim that he would flee the country or destroy evidence.
In the past weeks officials of the Federal Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (FEAC) said that Kassim’s disappearance has created heated debate at the parliament and government offices.
“Even though the Commission was trying to arrest the official after it received a formal letter from the parliament on Tuesday, it is unable to apprehend Kassim or know his whereabouts as he has run away from the country,” an official from FEAC had told Capital.
The House of People’s Representatives withdrew Kassim’s immunity from prosecution on Thursday July 4.
The other two suspects under Kassim’s case have been arrested and one of them was later released on bail
The parliament had initially declined the Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission’s (FEAC) request to revoke the rights to immunity guaranteed by the Constitution to Kassim Fite as a Member of Parliament (MP).
The Anti-Corruption Commission said Kassim has deliberately allowed Yohannes Derseh, a hotel owner, to lease 500 square meters of land illegally in Woreda 3 of Bole Sub City, initially leased to Girma Afework for the construction of a 12-storey luxury apartment block in 1995.
The Anti-Corruption Commission had requested the House to revoke Kassim’s immunity on August 2, 2012 so as to be able to formally investigate and potentially file charges against him.