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Police Investigates to Determine Driver in Pakistani, Friend Deaths



Federal 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 in Kazanchis.

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 investigation.

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 court.

Yosef remained quiet in the courtroom during the hearing on Friday; however, his lawyer, Fitsum Birhane, argued that his client should be released on bail.

“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 further.

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.




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