Ethiopia's ex-Prime Minister Aklilu Habte Wolde faced a 15-man Enquiry Commission in Addis Ababa on Saturday (20 September).
SCU and PULL BACK ex PM Aklilu Habte Wolde
CU and PULL BACK Armed guards
SV ex-PM Aklilu Habte Wolde entering room and sits down
SV Prof Mesfine
SV ex-PM Wolde reading document
SV Mesfine with commission
SV ex-PM handing documents to Mesfine
SV Photographers press
SV Commission Member
SCU ex-PM Wolde talking
Initials ET/006 ET/021
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Background: Ethiopia's ex-Prime Minister Aklilu Habte Wolde faced a 15-man Enquiry Commission in Addis Ababa on Saturday (20 September). The Commission is investigating alleged corruption and maladministration among former government officials removed from the office as a result of the military takeover of 12 September.
Mr. Wolde, who was ousted from office in February 1974, was questioned for over 6 hours about his actions during his 13-year term as Ethiopian Prime Minister, particularly in relation to the drought-hit province of Wollo where over 200,000 have died. He replied that his power as Prime Minister had been nominal, that the real decisions had been taken by Emperor Haile Selassie himself and members of his close family.
The Enquiry Commission will investigate the activities of over 170 ex-government officials and dignitaries now being held at the headquarters of Ethiopian Fourth Army in Addis Ababa. The move was announced by General Aman Andom, leader of the Ethiopian Provisional Military Council, during the first international news conference held in Addis Ababa since the military takeover.
General Andom has also revealed for the first time the structure of the Military Council which consists of 120 members of the Ethiopian Armed Forces. The Council has assumed full control of country but promises a return to civilian rule, though no date for such a move has been given.
General Andom has avoided questions about the Military Council's plans for the ex-Emperor. But he has said that the Council had received little co-operation from the Emperor towards the recovery of large sums of money shipped overseas n his behalf. The among concerned is quoted as around 11,000 Million Ethiopian dollars (GBP 2500 Million sterling).
The Military Council has been criticised in the past few days by radical students and trade union groups who are pressing for an immediate return to democratic government.