Ethiopia convicts Canadian of terrorism
Bashir Ahmed Makhtal will be sentenced next week
A Canadian man faces the death penalty after a court in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, found him guilty of three counts of being a member of a terrorist organization.
Bashir Ahmed Makhtal, 36, will be sentenced next week.
Makhtal, who was among dozens of people captured at the border between Somalia and Kenya in December 2006, was being held in a prison in Addis Ababa after being initially imprisoned in Kenya.
A community group in Ottawa has taken up the case of Makhtal, arguing that he has been denied access to lawyers and consular officials. They have called on the federal government to intervene in Makhtal's case.
Makhtal's lawyer has said Makhtal was born in an ethnic Somalian region of Ethiopia called Ogaden. He moved to Somalia at age 11, then fled the country when he was a teenager, eventually arriving in Canada as a refugee in 1991. He became a Canadian citizen in 1994 and holds no other citizenship.
Makhtal lived, studied and worked in Toronto, and also has a cousin in Hamilton, Ont.
In 2001, Makhtal returned to Kenya to run a used clothing business, which often took him to Somalia. He was in Somalia when Ethiopia invaded in December 2006 in a move against the Council of Islamic Courts, a group that controlled much of Somalia's south.
Makhtal was a member of a group of 41 foreign nationals captured at the border between Somalia and Kenya.