police investigators are probing to identify the
driver of the white Peugeot car, with plate number
2-54536, which drove into a deep trench on a
construction site on Guinea Conakry Street, located
Mohsin Majeed Pardesi, 26, and Awot Gebru, died on
January 19, 2011, due to the accident. Pardesi was
the general manager of Al-Habesha Sugar Mills Plc,
which is completing its plant to start producing
sugar from the 70,000ht plot it leases in Arjo (Dedesa)
in East Wollega Zone, Oromia Regional State.
Yosef Tesgaye, the sole survivor of the accident, is
to remain in custody until the police finalise their
investigation to determine if he was the driver at
the time of the accident, according to pre-trial
appeals the police filed at the Addis Abeba First
Instance Court, Kirkos Branch, on January 20.
The bodies of Awot and Pardesi did not have visible
wounds, the police observed, after they bodies had
been pulled out of the trench. This lead the
investigators to suspect intentional homicide on
Pardesi and Awot, the police officer in charge of
the investigation explained to Yohannes Afework, the
presiding judge, to determine the custody period for
The three were departing Liquid Lounge, located on
the ground floor of Nigiste Tower, before the
accident occurred at around 2:00am, according to the
police report. The car was driving backwards in an
attempt to advance forward, but plunged into an
unfenced foundation at the construction site.
The foundation hole contains water covered with
algae, a sign that the site has been abandoned for a
long time, according to people in the neighbourhood.
The court, which adjourned the case after granting
police custody rights for the investigation, held a
second hearing, on Friday, January 28, to hear the
findings of the investigation.
However, investigators appealed for additional
custody rights over the suspect, in order to
determine the cause of death of the two individuals.
“The forensic report of the steering wheel and the
autopsy report of the two individuals have not been
delivered to the investigation team, which requires
more time,” the investigative officer told the
Yosef remained quiet in the courtroom during the
hearing on Friday; however, his lawyer, Fitsum
Birhane, argued that his client should be released
“My client should not be in custody because it
denies him being presumed innocent since the police
had already been granted seven days to investigate
the case,” Fitsum argued. “The investigation could
be conducted while Yosef is out on bail.”
Yosef was a victim of the accident, which should be
considered in his bail application, Fitsum argued
The police contested the appeal for the right of
bail, claiming they are collecting material
evidence, while they said they were pursuing an
eyewitness who has left the city for the regions.
The judge ruled that the absence of bodily injury
after a crash warrants further investigation;
denying the appeal for bail, the judge adjourned the
case to February 1, 2011.