Colonel Mengistu Haile-Mariam, ex leader of the former Derg regime (1974-1991), has been found guilty of genocide by the federal high court in Addis Ababa. The judges handed down a guilty verdict against him and dozens of other officials and members of the Marxist junta for the murder of thousands of suspected opponents during the 17 years of military rule, and especially during the Red Terror campaign of 1977-1978. One defendant in the trial, which opened in 1994 and was followed by the families of many of the victims, was acquitted. Mengistu, who is in exile in Zimbabwe and was tried in absentia, could now face the death penalty. So far the Zimbabwean authorities have rejected all calls for his extradition to face justice in Ethiopia. Sentencing is expected on 28 December.
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