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Tesfaye Birru (Phd) CEO of the former Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation was released from prison on Thursday February 19, after serving his sentence on two counts of charges. He was behind bars for the past seven years.
A close family member told Capital that he is going to take a vacation outside of Addis Ababa.
Tesfaye and 23 executives of what is now Ethio-Telecom were arrested in 2008, on charges of corruption over the awarding of a contract for the installation of a mobile network.
In 2011, the former CEO and 16 employees of the corporation were found guilty of charges that had been brought against them by the Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (FEAC).
The charges held the accused responsible for violation of bid document awarding procedures. The corporation had incurred a loss of 1.5 billion birr because of a fraudulent tender.
The impeached acted contrary to the bid directive of the company, according to charges filed against them by the prosecutors of the FEAC.
The tender for the turnkey project to supply and install 600,000 mobile networks, including civil works and foundations, had been awarded by the then ETC to Ericsson. Ericsson should have been disqualified as it does not include a statement of financial offer, according to the prosecutors.
The defendants were on different levels of management and served together on the committee that evaluated the bids and awarded the tender. As a result, Ericsson was paid 47.4 million dollars.
Tesfaye, who has been in prison for the last seven years, received his doctorate degree in Information Technology while he was under detention. He was arrested when he was about to leave to Hamburg, Germany, to defend his dissertation.
He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Addis Ababa University (AAU) and also received a Pfizer Award at Sheffield University when he completed his MA with great distinction.
After winning a Fulbright student scholarship award, competing against many African contenders, Tesfaye conducted a research program at the University of Texas, Houston. He also studied software networking development for six months in Japan. When he served as head of the AAU post graduate information science department, he headed the installation of computer networking system for the university.