Case Comment on the Principle of Legality Under Ethiopian Legal System

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Principle of legality in criminal case: a comment on Ethiopian revenue and custom authority’s prosecutor Vs. Ato Daniel mekonin case* Salahadin Towfik

1. Synopsis of the case
The prosecutor of Ethiopian revenue and custom authority (prosecutor here in after) had brought a charge against Mr Daniel mekonin (the accused here after) before federal first instance court, alleging that the accused had been caught while transporting 46.96 KG of crude gold from Ethiopia to Djibouti, between walechit and metahara. The prosecutor asserted that the accused committed contraband crime by infringing custom authority proclamation number 60/97 and 368/2003 of article 2(28) & 66(2) respectively. in addition the prosecutor invoked alternative charge, which asserts the accused has committed crime against national economy by infringing article 1 & 2 of the directive number CTG/001/97 which is enacted by the Ethiopian national bank in accordance with article 59(2) (b) of finance and bank proclamation number 83/93. The accused had refused to accept the charge brought against him by the prosecutor. However, the first instance court after examining the allegation of both parties passed its decision as follows; as far as the first charge is concerned the court set the accused free by stating the fact that accused had successfully defend himself. Whereas, the court convicted the accused regarding the second charge by stating the fact that the accused was unable to rebut the evidences brought against him by the prosecutor. Dissatisfied by the decision of the lower court, the accused appealed to the federal high court by asserting that the lower court wrongly held him responsible for the alleged crime. Based on this the federal high court after considering the allegation of both parties thoroughly rendered its decision that reverses the decision of the lower court in relation to the second charge. This court reversed the decision of the lower court based on the reasoning that:...
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