Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s effort to crack down on corruption in Ethiopia’s public sector is yielding gains with the conviction of Bereket Simon, a former Minister of Communication between 1995 to 2012.
Simon was convicted of corruption charges and sentenced to six years in prison on Friday, a Reuters report said.
He served under former President Meles Zenawi and was widely considered to be his right-hand man.
He is the latest among several former senior government officials and executives of state-owned enterprises that have already been arrested, prosecuted and jailed.
Bereket co-founded the Amhara region’s public investment fund, TIRET Corporation, which he led until 2017. TIRET owns companies in the brewing, construction, transport and logistics sectors.
He was arrested last year on suspicion of mismanagement of public funds while he was heading the fund.
Bereket was found guilty on two counts, of corruption and mismanagement of the institution, court spokesman, Tazebachew Tassie said.
The court in Bahir Dar, the capital of Amhara, also convicted Tadesse Kassa, a former TIRET board member, on the same charges.
Lawyers for Bereket and Tadesse could not immediately be reached for comment.
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