December 2, 2008 14:32

Pop star convicted of killing homeless man

Singer convicted for manslaughter after hit-and-run incident

Pop star convicted of killing homeless man
One of Ethiopia's most famous musicians, Teddy Afro, has been convicted of manslaughter after a homeless man was killed in a hit-and-ruin incident in Addis Ababa in 2006.

The singer, real name Tewodros Kassahun, is said to have run the man down and then driven away without reporting the incident. He was also charged with driving without a license.

Upon hearing the court's verdict in Addis Ababa, Kassahun allegedly tried to object, but was told to quieten down by his lawyers. He is expected to receive a jail sentence of between five and 15 years for the crime.

During Ethiopia's 2005 elections, Kassahun's music was used as the anthem for anti-government protesters. Many of his fans believe that the charges brought against him are politically motivated, reports BBC News.

Kassahun has always protested his innocence. Upon leaving the court he told journalists: "I never killed anyone, I didn't get justice from this court."

In April, a High Court ruling for the case resulted in thousands of fans protesting on the streets of Addis Ababa.

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