Court orders Ethio-Saudi billionaire to return $905,200 he took in overpayment arising from tangled web of corruption

1 Nov

By Lemlem Tsegaye, The Reporter, 29 Oct 2011

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has filed a judgment execution pleading against Shadia Nadim, a person convicted of corruption along with the former Deputy Minister Tamrat Layne, and Sheik Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi at the Seventh Bench of the Federal High Court at Lideta on October 19 last week. Shadia was convicted years ago for collaborating with Tamrat, who was found guilty of power abuse, nepotism and stashing public money away by allowing illegal auctions to be carried out and took 16 million dollars from Sheik Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi, under the pretext of paying the debt of the Ethiopian government, and divided the money among his accomplices and kept his share in a foreign bank.

According to the execution pleading of MoJ, Shadia was ordered to pay 26 million birr plus interest along with her accomplices by the Federal High Court after being found liable of civil suit that was instituted against them which states that Shadia and her accomplices, including Tamrat Layne, made possible the selling of 1,000 tons of coffee which belonged to the government. This decision has been approved by the Federal Supreme Court and Cassation Benches, the pleading read.

The Federal Supreme court appellate Bench ruled on July 3 of this year for the payment of USD 2.5 million to be effected from three account numbers of Shadia’s account found in Banque Indo-Suez Mer Rough Djibouti and from her account in the name of Ramis International PLC, a company whose license was revoked and originally formed with shares held between Hussein Kassim, Shadia’s son, and Bezualem Melaku, a mother of Tamrat. Bezualem, later on left the company after transferring her shares to Wissam Abdella Kassim, another son of Shadia, who had been managing the company since 1995, at the same bank, according to the pleading.

The second judgment debtor, Sheik al-Amoudi, was ordered to pay USD 905,158.06 to MoJ because he took USD 9.9 million which is more than the USD 9 million that the Federal Supreme Court had ordered for him by pleading to the Swiss court where Shadia kept her share in Swiss banks by her and Blen Getachew’s name, daughter of Tamrat, the pleading read.

Therefore, the court should order the payment of money from all of Shadia’s accounts and the reimbursement of the USD 905,158.06 or its equivalent in birr from Sheik al-Amoudi plus a legal interest which counts from March 12, 2004, the day he received the money from a Swiss bank, Alganeh Teshome, prosecutor of MoJ pleaded.

The presiding Judge, Muluken Teshale ordered both Shadia and al-Amoudi to execute according to the law or if they have any reason not to present their reason to the court, and adjourned the case for November 18, next month.

The ruling given by the Federal Supreme Court on July 3 of this year rejected Sheik al-Amoudi’s request to get the 2.5 million in Banque Indo-Suez Mer Rough Djibouti in shadia’s and her PLC’s name because he had already retrieved the USD 9 million from the Swiss bank. The court also ordered the MoJ to request the stated money from the government of Djibouti by the judicial assistance agreement the two governments have.

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