ETHIOPIA. MENGISTU VERDICT DELAYED
|Mengistu shows no signs of repentance
May 23, 2006: a verdict has been postponed until next year in the 12-year genocide trial of Ethiopia's former Marxist ruler.
Mengistu Haile Mariam is accused of killing tens of thousands of people after he ousted Emperor Haile Selassie.
In a notorious campaign - known as the Red Terror - thousands of suspected opponents were rounded up, executed then tossed onto the streets.
The ex-leader fled to Zimbabwe in 1991 and is being tried in absentia but 35 members of his junta are present.
Twenty-six more people are being tried in absentia.
If found guilty by the Supreme Court, they could face the death penalty for crimes against humanity and genocide.
But presiding judge Medhin Kiros said the court needed more time to assess the huge body of evidence and adjourned the trial till 23 January.
Mulugeta Aserate who was Emperor Haile Selassie's second cousin said it was very disappointing.
The evidence against Mengistu, who is nearly 70, includes signed execution orders, videos of torture sessions and personal testimonies.
Despite calls for his extradition, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is unlikely to hand over Mengistu in the event of a guilty verdict. (Sources: Bbc, 23/05/2006)