Ethiopian pop star Teddy Afro has been convicted of the manslaughter of a homeless man killed in a hit-and-run incident in Addis Ababa in 2006.

The singer was found guilty of running the man down in his car and driving away without reporting the incident. Ethiopia’s best-known pop star was also convicted of driving without a licence. He faces between five and 15 years in prison when sentenced on Friday.

His music became an anthem for opposition protests in 2005. Many of his fans believe the charges against him were politically motivated.

But Judge Leul Gebremariam dismissed Teddy’s defence in a long summing-up, says the BBC’s Elizabeth Blunt, who was in the courtroom.

There had been some confusion about which night the homeless man had died. On the first date the singer – real name Tewodros Kassahun – had an alibi: He was out of the country.

On the second possible date, Teddy said he had been out with friends. But the judge was not convinced and found him guilty on all charges. As sentence was passed, the singer tried to protest and was hushed by his lawyers.02-12-teddy-afro

But as he left court, having regained his composure, Teddy gave a thumbs-up sign to friends and family and told journalists: “I never killed anyone, I didn’t get justice from this court.”


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