- The former Ethiopian Prime Minister Tamerat Layne has been released from prison today after spending 12 years for embezzling over US $10 million during his term in office. Mr Layne who was the Prime Minister the country from 1991 to 1994 was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
The former premier was sentenced in 2000 after the Supreme Court found him guilty on three counts of corruption and abuse of power.
He was also accused of using his position to export 1,000 tonnes of state-owned coffee through a bogus firm and of using another company to obtain a tender for the supply of construction equipment worth 13 million dollars.
Local media reports said Mr Layne has expressed his regret for the wrongdoing, hence his jail term was reduced in parole.
President Meles Zenawi assumed the post of prime minister in 1995, though his was criticised in some quarters, who said the prosecution of Mr Layne was politically motivated.
Ethiopia was led by the military regime known as the Derge led by Menghistu Haile Mariaim in 1977-1991, until he was ousted in a coup. Mr Layne also served later as deputy Prime Minister and defense minister until he was sacked and arrested in 1996.
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