ADDIS ABABA — An Ethiopian security officer with the United Nations faced up to 10 years in jail after a court in Addis Ababa found him guilty Monday of "participating in a terrorist organisation."
"The defendant has not convinced us that he did not commit a crime... he's guilty," judge Mulugeta Kidane said.
Abdurahman Sheikh Hassan, who was based in Ethiopia's troubled southeastern Ogaden region, was charged last July with having links to the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), a secessionist rebel group.
He is charged along with Sherif Baido, whom the charge sheet lists as a senior member of the ONLF and was convicted on the same charge in absentia, according to Mulugeta.
The two men face five to ten years in prison. The court is expected to deliver a sentence on Friday.
Hassan was arrested after negotiating the release of two UN World Food Programme (WFP) officers kidnapped in the Ogaden.
Judge Mulugeta said defence witnesses failed to prove Hassan did not have links to ONLF members.
The key evidence used by the prosecution was recordings of phone conversations between Hassan and his co-defendant.